The Largest, Heaviest, Smallest ... Birds

animalfunfacts.net has collected the most exciting size records from the world of birds for you!

From the Bill to the Toes!

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 ft (2.35 m) long nose.

You will find even more funny and exciting bird records below this table!

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

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

Legs
   
Longest legs Ostrich more than 55.1 inch (140 cm)
Longest legs ** Stilt 9 inch (23 cm)
Shortest legs Swift A few millimeter
Longest toes *** Northern jacana 5.5 inch (14 cm) (body 9 inch; 23 cm)

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

Bill
   
Longest bill Australian pelican 19.2 inch (49 cm)
Longest bill **** Sword-billed hummingbird 4.1 inch (10.5 cm) (body 8.6 inch; 22 cm)
Shortest bill Nightjar 0.3 inch (8 mm)

Eyes
   
Largest eyes Ostrich 1.9 inch (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 ft (2.8 m) 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 Biggest and the Smallest: Nests and Eggs

The nest of the vervain hummingbird is only half as big as a walnut shell. The hummingbird lays a super mini egg measuring less than 10 mm and weighing about 0.012 oz (0.365 g) into the super mini nest.

A German crested canary has established another super mini egg record according to the Guinness Book: Its egg was 0.27 inch (7 mm) long and weighed 0.0009 oz (0.027 g).

A pair of American eagles has created the biggest nest, which measured 9.5 ft (2.9 m) 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 …

… has the peacock! 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 ft (1.73 m) – the size of an adult human being.

Even More Feather Records

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!).

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 funny idea.