The World's Most Interesting Birds

See what avian species rank first in size, speed, rarity, and more

From the LifeMinute.TV Team

June 5, 2022

Research from the American Museum of Natural History suggests there are about 18,000 bird species in the world. That’s a lot of honor of National Bird Day on January 5, here’s a look at some of these species and their quirks, as well as superlatives when it comes to size, speed, rarity, and more.

The Bee Hummingbird, found only in Cuba, is the smallest bird. It measures just two and a quarter inches long.

The ostrich is the tallest bird. It can grow up to 9 feet and weigh up to 320 pounds.

Ostriches and chickens are considered the closest modern relatives of Tyrannosaurus rex.

The Toco Toucan has the largest beak relative to the body size of any bird. It's about 8 inches long, making up one-third of the bird's total length.

The kiwi has one of the largest egg-to-body weight ratios of any bird. Its eggs are roughly 6 times the size of a chicken egg.

The Peregrine Falcon is not only the fastest bird but the fastest animal in the world. It can reach a dive speed of over 200 MPH when swooping down on prey.

Albatrosses are large seabirds with the longest wingspan of any bird. Their impressive wingspan can get up to 12 feet wide, giving them the ability to be in flight for long periods. They can travel almost 10,000 miles over the sea before returning to land.

Penguins have flippers rather than wings, making them the best swimmers. They can swim 4 times faster than humans and dive underwater longer than 20 minutes.

Ever heard of the eagle eye? Eagles can see clearly up to 8 times farther than humans can see.

When night falls, an owl's front-facing eyes give it an excellent range of binocular vision. Their irises widen to allow more light to reach their retina at night, helping them spot prey in the dark.

Unlike most birds, flamingos feed with their heads upside down. And their pink color comes from carotenoids, a pigment present in high levels in their diet.

Crows are debatably the smartest of birds. They can recognize and remember human faces.

With a population estimated at just 25 birds as of spring 2020, the Blue-eyed Ground-Dove is one of the rarest birds in the world. The critically endangered species was considered extinct until 2015 when rediscovered in eastern Brazil. Its numbers are rising as conservation actions work to secure its future.

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