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The Largest, Heaviest, Smallest ... Birds has collected the most exciting size records from the world of birds for you "from the bill to the toes"! Which is the largest bird, which is the smallest? Which one has the largest wingspan and which is the heaviest bird? Which bird has the longest legs, the longest beak or the biggest eyes? You will find even more funny and exciting bird records below this table!

Top 10 Largest Birds in the World

Largest bird Ostrich 9.1 feet (2.8 meters)
Largest sea bird Northern royal albatross 48 inches (122 cm)
Largest penguin Emperor penguin 44.8 inches (114 cm)
Largest falcon Gerfalcon 18.8-24 inches (48-61 cm)
Largest cockatoo Goliath cockatoo 22-23.6 inch (56-60 cm
Largest hummingbird Giant hummingbird 8.6 inches (22 cm)
Smallest bird Bee hummingbird 2.2 inches (57 mm)
Smallest parrot Fig parrot 3.1 inches (8 cm)
Smallest crane Inaccessible island rail 5.5 inches (14 cm)
Smallest bird of prey Black-thighed falconet 5.5-6.2 inches (14-16cm)
Smallest sea bird Least storm petrel 5.9 inches (15 cm)

The Heaviest Birds in the World

Heaviest bird * Kori bustard 39.6-44 lbs (18-20 kg)
Heaviest bird of prey Andean condor 24.2-33 lbs (11-15 kg)
Heaviest parrot Kakapo 8.8 lbs (4 kg)
Lightest bird Bee hummingbird 0.05-0.07 oz (1.6-2 grams)

The Longest Legs

Longest legs Ostrich more than 55.1 inches (140 cm)
Longest legs ** Stilt 9 inches (23 cm)
Shortest legs Swift a few millimeters
Longest toes *** Northern jacana 5.5 inches (14 cm) (body 9 inches; 23 cm)

Widest Wingspan

Bird Wandering albatross 11.4 feet (3.5 meters)
Bird of prey Andean condor 10.4 feet (3.2 meters)
Sea bird Pelican 9.8 feet (3 meters)
Swan Trumpeter swan 9 feet (2.75 meters)
Parrot Blue macaw 4.5 feet (1.40 meters)

The Longest Bill

Longest bill Australian pelican 19.2 inches (49 cm)
Longest bill **** Sword-billed hummingbird 4.1 inches (10.5 cm)
Shortest bill Nightjar 0.3 inches (8 mm)

The Biggest Eyes

Largest eyes Ostrich 1.9 inches (5 cm) (diameter)
Sharpest eyes Peregrine falcon 4.9 miles (8 km) (range of vision)
Largest field of view Woodcock 360° panoramic view

* able to fly,
** in relation to the body,
*** in relation to the body; the body of the Northern jacana measures 9 inch (23 cm),
**** in relation to the body; the body of the sword-billed hummingbird measures 8.6 inch (22 cm)

Trumpeter Swan Trumpeter Swan - Photo: Brian Kenney/Shutterstock


Ratites are the Biggest

The top 5 largest birds are ratites, such as the African ostrich, which is 9.1 feet (2.8 meters) tall. Then there are the southern cassowary (61 inch; 155 cm), the emu (60.2 inch; 153 cm), the northern cassowary (58.6 inch; 149 cm) and the greater rhea (55.1 inch; 140 cm).

The Smallest Nest, the Smallest Egg

The nest of the vervain hummingbird is only half as big as a walnut shell. According to the Guinness Book of Records a vervain hummingbird laid two eggs measuring less than 10 mm, which weighed 0.012 oz (0.365 g) and 0,375 g. A German crested canary has established another super mini egg record, which can be found in the Guinness Book of Records: Its egg was 0.27 inch (7 mm) long and weighed 0.0009 oz (0.027 grams).

The Biggest Nest, the Biggest Egg

A pair of American eagles has created the biggest nest, which measured 9.5 feet (2.9 meters) in diameter and weighed more than 2 tons! Ostriches lay the biggest eggs – the Guinness Book notes an egg weighing 5.7 lb (2.589 kg)!

The Longest Feathers

The peacock is generally known for its beautiful long feathers. The feathers of the South East Asian crested argus can even reach a length of 5.6 feet (1.73 meters) – the size of an adult human being.

Most Feathers

Small bird = not many feathers? Yes, it is true with regard to the ruby-throated hummingbird. The sweet little chap has an extremely colorful plumage that consists of just about 940 feathers. Hopefully it does not get easily startled, otherwise it would probably lose all its feathers at the smallest excitement (only joking!).


Least Feathers

The whistling swan however has got a very impressive plumage, sometimes consisting of more than 25,000 feathers. Yet the name is misleading: The whistling swan does not really whistle - even though that would be a funny idea.

Size Comparisons

Just a few size comparisons: Imagine an encounter between the biggest and the smallest bird, an ostrich and a hummingbird. If they stood next to each other it would be similar to a human standing next to a 25 storey building. The difference between large and small can also be quite stunning regarding the bills. If the birds with the shortest bill met the one with the longest beak, it would be similar to a human encountering a life-size Pinocchio with a 7.7 feet (2.35 meters) long nose.


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