There are more than 10,000 species of birds found all over the globe. They range in sizes, colors, and habitat. But do you know what is the largest in each bird ‘s order? This concise article answers your question.
The Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), native to North America is the largest member of this diverse order. The adult male normally weighs from 5 to 11 kg (11-24 lbs), measures 100-125 cm (39-49 in) long and a 1.25 to 1.44 m (49-57 in) wingspan. The heaviest domesticated turkey on record, according to the National Wildlife Turkey Federation, weighed 37 kg (81 lb). A prehistoric, flightless family, sometimes called (incorrectly) “giant megapodes” (Sylviornis) were the biggest Galliformes ever, having reached 1.70 m (5.6 ft) long and weighed up to about 30 kg (66 lb).
The Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii), is the largest species of the loon or diver family. This bird can grow as much as of birds at up to 1 m (3.3 ft), a weight of 7 kg (15.4 lb) and a 135-160 cm (53-63 in) wingspan. However, one exceptional Common Loon weighed 8 kg (17.6 lb), heavier than any recorded Yellow-billed Loon.
Cranes & allies (Gruiformes)
There are two extant birds that are capable of flight; the Great Bustard (Otis tarda) and Kori Bustard (Ardeotis kori). The Great Bustard (Otis tarda), is the only member of the genus Otis. An adult male averages 90-110 cm (3-3.7 ft) long, weighs from 10 to 16 kg (22-35 lb) and with a 2.1-2.5 m (6.9-8.2 ft) wingspan.
The tallest and longest flying bird on earth, also a Gruiformes, is the Sarus Crane (Grus antigone), sometimes standing almost 2 m (6.6 ft) tall. The Brontornis burmeisteri that stood about 2.8 m (9.2 ft) and weigh up to about 400 kg (880 lb)was the largest ever gruiform.
The Common Raven (Corvus corax) and the Thick-billed Raven are possibly the heaviest passerine birds. Both of these birds grow between 56 and 69 cm (22 to 27 inches) in length and can weigh from 1.5 kg (3.3 lb). Common ravens are one of the most widespread, naturally occurring birds worldwide.
Cormorants & allies (Pelecaniformes)
The Dalmatian Pelican (Pelecanus crispus) is the largest of the pelicans, which attains a length of 170 cm (67 inches), a body weight of 15 kg (33 lb) and a wingspan of 3.5 m (11.5 ft). It differs from the White Pelican in that it has grey legs, curly nape feathers and grayish-white plumage. Osteodontornis, a pelecaniform of the late Miocene, was among the largest flying birds ever, at up to 2.1 m (7 ft) long with a wingspan of 6 m (20 ft).
Woodpeckers & allies (Piciformes)
The Toco Toucan (Ramphastos toco) is the largest in the toucan family. It is found in rainforests throughout a large part of central and eastern South America. A common attraction at zoos, Toco Toucan averages 25 inches long, including a bill that measures about 20 cm (8 in) and weighs about 500-860 g (17.5-30 oz).
The Great Grebe (Podiceps major), which is found in southeastern Brazil, northwestern Peru and central Chile is the largest species of grebe. This is a very large grebe that can reach a length of 80 cm (32 in) and a weight of over 2 kg (4.4 lb).
The Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans), is the largest species of Procellariiformes and has the largest wingspan of any living bird, with the wingspan of 3.63 m (nearly 12 ft). The Wandering Albatross averages 1.44 m (4.6 ft) long with females being slightly smaller than males. The largest-ever tubenose (though it is sometimes classified in the order Pelecaniformes) was the albatross-like Gigantornis eaglesomei, with a wingspan of about 6 m (20 ft).
The Big Birds
Big Birds Part 3