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"! Which is the largest bird, which the smallest? Which one has the largest wingspan and which is the heaviest bird?
Just a few size comparsions: 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. You will find even more funny and exciting bird records below this table!
|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)|
|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)|
|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)|
|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)|
|Longest bill||Australian pelican||19.2 inch (49 cm)|
|Longest bill ****||Sword-billed hummingbird||4.1 inch (10.5 cm)|
|Shortest bill||Nightjar||0.3 inch (8 mm)|
|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)
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 Biggest and the Smallest: Nests and Eggs
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 g). 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.
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.