Birds are conventionally considered beautiful creatures famous for their sweet song, but some have adapted to their environment in such a way that their appearance has been altered significantly. We can categorise them into different parameters like singing birds, high flying birds, beautiful birds and the list goes on. Parrots one of the beautiful bird with a little odd beak comes under smartest animals in the world. This may mean odd shaped beaks, shapes and sizes of the head or unconventional appendages like long tails and wattles. Here is a list of the strangest looking birds.
Strange Looking Birds In The World
1. Superb Bird of Paradise
This Bird of Paradise rightly deserves the spot for the strangest looking bird in the world because of its striking plumage and absurd mating rituals. It is found only in the rainforest of New Guinea and lives on mountain slopes at altitudes of 1600 to 2300 metres. The male bird has black feathers on most of its body and a blue crest and bluish green shield in the chest which appears to shine. Since the population of males is very high as compared to females, there is still competition for mates. The males spread their wing and tail feathers and dance around the female while giving a distinctive mating call. The swishing sound made by the feathers as well as the calls of the male attracts the female to a prospective mate.
Image Source: https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-oq_vjIlHIPs/WCSc34mrlCI/AAAAAAABQkg/mqkOuXLDJ0I/superb-bird-of-paradise-16.jpg?imgmax=1600
2. King of Saxony Bird of Paradise
Like the Superb Bird of Paradise, this bird too is endemic to New Guinea and lives on mountain slopes. It has very long tail feathers that are ornamental rather than functional and can be as long as 50 centimetres. The length of these feathers determines the health of the male and helps females chose a mate. This bird also has tufts of hair on its head that it can move back and forth. Apart from tail feathers, the males also make loud sounds to compete with other males for mates. This makes it one of the strangest looking birds in the world. We also want you to read about incredible and amazing arctic birds.
3. Ribbon Tailed Astrapia
As the name suggests, this bird too has long tail feathers – up to thrice the size of its body. On an average, the bird is one foot long while the tail may be as long as three feet. The Ribbon Tailed Astrapia is endemic to Papua New Guinea and like other birds on this list, only the male has the bizarre features. The female is brownish-black in colour while the male has green and bronze coloured body feathers and black-tipped white tail feathers it uses to attract females.
4. Andean Cock of the Rock
This bird is one of the strange looking birds because of the unusual shape of its crest. It has a crescent shaped crest that is bright orange in colour with grey feathers and black plumage on the body. The female to has a crest but it is smaller and dull as compared to the male. This bird lives in the Andes Mountains of South America and is the national bird of Peru. The nest of this bird is also quite peculiar because it is concave and is built using mud and scraps of leaves bound together by saliva.
5. Magnificent Frigate Bird
This coastal bird lives in Florida and California and has a distinctive bright red throat pouch present only in males during the breeding season. The pouch is inflated and is used to make loud sounds to attract females. Both males and females have black body feathers and grey beaks but females have a white breast with no pouch. These birds are notorious for chasing away other birds and taking their food. Their diet is mainly small aquatic animals like fish, squids and jellyfish. One of the strange looking birds with a red throat, you can clearly see in below image.
6. Shoe Bill
This strange looking bird is found in the African countries of Sudan and Zambia and is highly endangered with only about 8000 birds left in the wild. It is named after its large beak that looks like a shoe which is used to hunt prey and communicate with other birds. Alternatively known as a whale head or a shoe-billed stork, this bird weighs up to eight kilos and is 5 feet in height. It usually hunts small animals like rodents and reptiles by standing still and waiting for the prey to approach after which it snaps it up using its large beak. It is one of the strange animals found only in Africa.
Image Source: http://d2fbmjy3x0sdua.cloudfront.net/cdn/farfuture/4y8xcfTTB7b-SVyfxX-7V_roO4-UWL_CvPXx_Lr55dM/mtime:1470349347/sites/default/files/sfw_apa_2015_johnrollins_280275_theelusiveshoebill.jpg
7. Marabou Stork
This bird is sometimes called the ugliest bird in the world because of its strange appearance that is unlike any other bird. It has a featherless head and a long sac-like structure called a wattle that hangs down from under the beak. It has black wing feathers and a white body and according to some, it looks somewhat like a vampire. This bird is found mainly in South Africa and is a scavenger. It can weigh up to 9 kilos and may have a height of up to 60 inches. It also has one of the longest wingspans in the world.
8. Long Wattled Unbrellabird
This bird lives in the rainforests of Columbia and Ecuador and the male is one of the strangest looking birds. It has a crest on its head that looks like an umbrella and a wattle up to 35 centimetres that hang down from its neck. The bird is black in colour and inflates the wattle during mating season to attract mates. Though the female to has a wattle and a crest, it is much smaller than that of the male. These birds are omnivores and eat nuts and fruits as well as small insects and reptiles. One of the strange looking birds found only in Columbia and Ecuador. You also find interesting reading about smallest and cutest birds in the world.
9. Sri Lankan Frogmouth
This nocturnal bird has a wide open mouth like that of a frog that is beneficial to it while hunting and it is found in Sri Lanka and the South-West coast of India adjacent to the Sri Lankan coast. The males have a greyish coloration while females are reddish-brown in colour. They have a distinctive laughing call that is used to communicate between members of the species. Frogmouths are not very adept flyers and mostly inhabit lower branches of trees and hunt at night. Their diet mainly consists of insects. One of the strange looking birds from Sri Lanka.
10. California Condor
This is the largest land bird in North America and became extinct in the wild in 1987 because of excessive hunting and habitat destruction. Though it is called the California condor, it was found in many regions of North America from Canada to Mexico. This bird has a featherless head and short black standing feathers around the neck that make it one of the strangest looking birds. It is a scavenger bird and has a long wingspan of 3 meters from tip to tip. They fly at heights of 15000 feet and can fly more than 150 kilometres a day in search of food. Their nests are usually found on rock cliffs and high trees.
Though these birds may be considered strange by human beings, they are superbly capable of surviving in their environment and making the best of their abilities. Be it the featherless head of the Condor or the large beak of the Shoebill, these strange looking birds flourish in the wild. Unfortunately, most of the birds on this list are endangered and have very low populations in the wild. This is primarily the result of hunting, deforestation and habitat destruction. There is an urgent need to save these birds or they may disappear forever like the California Condor. We also want you to read about smartest talking birds in the world.