The world of animals is one that is so interesting, you can spend your whole life studying it and still be surprised every single day! According to studies, there are approximately 10,500 known species of birds and 21,000 subspecies of birds in the world. And some of them look like real aliens that can surprise you not only with their colors and shape but also with their behavior.
We at Bright Side compiled a list of some beautiful (and a bit strange-looking) birds that are sure to amaze you!
1. King Vulture
The King Vulture is a vulture and a scavenger. These birds are large — that’s why they glide in the air to save their energy searching for food like dead animals. This bird is very useful to our planet because of its eating habits. The King Vulture fills an ecological niche and helps prevent the spread of diseases by utilizing remains.
King Vultures can live anywhere from Mexico south to Argentina. The legends say that they got this name from the Maya people where this vulture was a “king” that carried messages between humans and the Gods.
The cock-of-the-rock is native to South America. You can find them in tropical and subtropical rocky areas. The males birds are magnificent because of their prominent fan-shaped crests that they need to attract females.
When it comes to mating, the males start to display their colorful plumage and making various mating calls. After that, the female becomes independent, makes a nest in a rocky area, and cares for the eggs by herself.
3. Superb bird-of-paradise
This is a very small bird approximately 10 in long. When faced head-on, it absorbs 99.95% of sunlight. They were named as a “new” species because they behave very differently from other birds. The courtship dance and the vocalizations are different. Even the female’s appearance and shape in comparison to the males are different. It is a very interesting bird that can hypnotize you with its dancing and its unusual appearance.
4. Golden Pheasant
Golden Pheasants are native to central China but they also live in Britain, southwestern Scotland, Spain, and France. It is one of the brightest birds and it has a very long tail. It is interesting that the female pheasant can lay 9 to 11 eggs that hatch after 3 weeks.
The Golden Pheasant is a sign of good luck, prosperity, and good fortune. Also, these birds have an incredible knack for sensing unusual dangers and threats. You can see this unique and beautiful bird in many zoos.
Hornbills can range in size from 1 ft to 3’11″. They are omnivorous and can eat fruit, insects, and even small animals. Because of their short tongue, they can’t swallow food and that is why they toss it to the back of their throat with a head jerk.
Hornbills have 2 specific features. The first is that their neck muscles are very strong because they need to support heavy bills. Due to that, a hornbills neck is thicker than that of the average bird. Also, these birds are the only ones with eyelashes.
6. Christmas frigatebird
These birds got this name because they are found only on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. People call them pirates and there is a reason — they steal food from other birds. Normally, Christmas frigatebirds live in pairs, and males have a red throat sac that they display to get a mate.
7. Potoo bird
They are also called sometimes poor-me-ones and they live in Central and South America. Potoo birds are nocturnal and related to nightjars and frogmouths.
Potoo birds lack bristles around the mouth. During the day, they don’t fly but sit upright on tree stumps trying to camouflage. The Potoo diet includes beetles, moths, grasshoppers, and termites.
8. Swinhoe’s pheasant
This pheasant has a very small population due to habitat degradation. The male Swinhoe’s pheasant can grow up to 31 in. They are very bright with their blue-purple chest, white nape, red wattles, and white tail and crest.
9. Andean Condor
The Andean Condor has a wingspan over 3 m (10 ft) and it is considered the largest flying bird in the world. Their weight can reach 15 kg and the height can reach 1.2 m. This stunning creature is the largest Raptor in the entire world. Despite their wings, they are not the best flyers among birds because the Andean Condor is very heavy. It is interesting that these birds only produce one egg every 2 years and the incubation period lasts 54-58 days.
10. Mandarin Duck
The Mandarin Duck is a native of China and Japan and is widely considered to be the world’s most beautiful duck. Like most of the ducks, they find a partner for the season and form new pairs again in the autumn. Female mandarins don’t quack. Instead, they make clucking calls when they see and feel danger.
Have you ever seen any of these birds with your own eyes? What did you think about them as you read the article? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!