50 Different Types of Birds: Names, Pictures, Species of Birds ID Charts

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Animals | February 20, 2024

Man standing next to a waterway looking at various types of birds and wondering how to identify bird species using pictures, names for species of birds id charts including north America birds, blue birds, backyard birds and jays.

Did you know that there are over 9,000 bird species on earth and that the various types of birds around the globe all play a crucial role in maintaining the health of the planet?

It’s true.

Due to their ability to take to the skies and travel long distances, birds exist everywhere and understanding their habits and habitats is a fascinating study.

This guide examines over 30 types of birds and includes both names and pictures for the species.

It also includes awesome identification charts so you can become an expert on recognizing the character trait of various species.

Related Reading: 28 Types of Trees by Location, Species, Leaves, Colors (Pictures)

Bird Species: How Many Types of Birds Are There?

In the animal world of vertebrates, birds are by far the biggest group with approximately 10,000 species.

One of the reasons why they are so widespread across the globe is their ability to fly wherever and whenever the fancy takes them.

This nomadic lifestyle makes it nigh on impossible to count each and every one of them as they flutter on by, so guesstimating was the only way to even come close to evaluating actually how many individual birds there are.

Wide shot of the Eagle Bird flying and soaring above a forest.

(Image: Sven Lachmann15)

Estimates, backed up by very powerful binoculars, have gathered as much data as possible and the estimated number of individual birds could well be above 430 billion, or below 50 billion.

An absolutely huge discrepancy that is nigh on impossible to quantify, but for sure the avian population outnumbers the human population by at least 10 to 1.

Now, with that many birds, there has to be a wide range of categories because of the enormous variety of birds, known as Class Aves within the Kingdom Animalia, soaring through the skies. Yet even with all their differences, with few exceptions they have basic characteristics that make them birds.

  • To be able to fly, the bones of birds are hollow to reduce weight
  • Birds have two legs so they can walk, or waddle, on land
  • They have beaks and no teeth
  • The bird’s body temperature is self-maintaining, like humans, and does not rely on other factors to retain body heat or cool down like some closely related reptiles
  • All species of birds have feathers
  • All birds procreate by laying an egg which then hatches externally

Ornithology is the term used to scientifically study all types of birds,1 and one of the tasks that this branch of zoology has tackled is separate the types of birds into categories for identification purposes.

After all, even though an eagle, a pigeon, and a hummingbird all belong to the same species, they definitely don’t look the same or hang out on the same branches.

So, how many types of birds are there?

Bird Lower Classifications (Different Types of Birds)

Previously, birds were categorized into 23 orders by ornithologists, but that has recently been revised to 40 as new categories were formed as distinct features on some birds separated them into new groups.

OrderList of BirdsCharacteristics
AccipitriformesEagles, Hawks, Owls, Kites, Vultures, Buzzards, CondorsSharp, hooked beaks, and deadly claws. Birds of prey that hunt and eat other animals
AnseriformesSwans, Ducks, GeeseBroad, flat bills. They have webbed feet and are found around bodies of freshwater
ApodiformesHummingbirds and SwiftsVery small bodies with scaleless feet. The young are born blind and hairless
ApterygiformesKiwiHave Long beaks, curved at the end, and strong legs as they live on the land, not in the air
CoraciiformesHornbills, Hoopoes, and WoodhoopoesThey have large bills with unique casques and feed on insects
CaprimulgiformesNightjars, Frogmouths, and Oilbirds.Features are large heads and large eyes as they become active only after nightfall. They have a characteristic called wide gape, which means their bills can open very wide
CariamiformesSeriemasFound in South America, these birds seldom fly. They are runners with long legs, long necks, and long tails used for balance
CasuariiformesEmus and CassowariesSimilar to ostriches but with slight differences, these birds are flightless, tall, and fast runners
Charadriiformes2Shorebirds such as the Great Auk, Crested Auklet, Horned Puffin, and African JacanaThese types of birds live near water, often diving and swimming to catch fish
CiconiiformesStorks, Herons & VulturesThey are famous for long legs, long beaks, and black, gray, and white plumage. Fish are their main food of choice

Graphics of birds species identification chart showing Accipitriformes (Eagles, Hawks, Owls, Kites, Vultures, Buzzards, and Condors), Anseriformes (Swans, Ducks, and Geese), Apodiformes (Hummingbirds and Swifts), Apterygiformes (Kiwi), Coraciiformes (Hornbills, Hoopoes, and Woodhoopoes), Cariamiformes (Seriemas), Caprimulgiformes (Nightjars, Frogmouths, and Oilbirds), Casuariiformes (Emus and Cassowaries), Charadriiformes (Great Auk, Crested Auklet, Horned Puffin, and African Jacana) and Ciconiiformes (Storks and Herons) images.

OrderList of BirdsCharacteristics
ColiiformesMousebirdsThese very tiny gray/brown birds are herbivores with short, stubby bills
ColumbiformesPigeons, DovesThey are found worldwide in every plaza and on every statue, with doves prized as pets.
CoraciiformesKingfishers, Rollers, Bee-eaters, Motmots, and TodiesMainly tree dwellers, these colorful birds have short legs and fused toes.
They eat small fish, small reptiles, and insects
CuculiformesCuckoos, Roadrunners, Koels, Malkohas, Couas, and CoucalsRenowned for their calling nature, cuckoos are also famous for nest stealing. While roadrunners in this group are as their name suggests, accustomed to zooming down roads at speeds in excess of 32 km/h
EurypygiformesKagus and SunbitternsSimilar in shape to ducks, these birds have long beaks. They have feathers categorized as powder down feathers as they release a powder for protection against pests and to aid when it comes time for a quick clean
FalconiformesFalconsThey are efficient predators with hooked beaks, sharp talons, and excellent eyesight
GalliformesChickens, Pheasants, and TurkeysThese unmistakable birds are domesticated ground dwellers, bred primarily in captivity as a source of food
GaviiformesLoonsFound paddling on the surface, these birds dive underwater to catch their prey
GruiformesCranes and QuailsWith long legs, long necks, and even longer wing spans, they are perhaps the world’s tallest birds that fly
LeptosomiformesCuckoo RollersNative to the Comoro Islands and Madagascar, they are unusual in that they have two toes growing forward and two growing backward

Graphics of birds species identification chart showing Coliiformes (Mousebirds), Columbiformes (Doves and Pigeons), Eurypygiformes (Kagus and Sunbitterns), Coraciiformes (Kingfishers, Rollers, Bee-eaters, Motmots, and Todies), Falconiformes (Falcons), Cuculiformes (Cuckoos, Roadrunners, Koels, Malkohas, Couas, and Coucals), Galliformes (Chickens, Pheasants, and Turkeys), Gruiformes (Cranes and Quails), Gaviiformes (Loons), and Leptosomiformes (Cuckoo Rollers) images.

OrderList of BirdsCharacteristics
MesitornithiformesMesitesThis endangered species is related to doves and calls Madagascar home.
Not a fan of flying, it spends the majority of its time on land
MusophagiformesTuracosTheir uniqueness derives from the copper-based pigment in their feathers. Physically, their colorful crests sets them apart
OpisthocomiformesHoatzinsTheir distinctive blue faces are accentuated by a colorful crest flaring on their heads like a fan. Found mangroves and forests across South America
OtidiformesBustards3Preferring to strut their stuff in open grasslands 90% of the time, these large birds remember they can fly only when frightened unexpectedly
PasseriformesFinches, Sparrows, Skylarks, Tits, Waxwings, Starlings, Thrushes, and WrensThis group is made up of perching birds characterized by their strong gripping toes, 3 forward and 1 backward
PelecaniformesPelicans, Cormorants, and FrigatebirdsFreshwater sites are their natural habitats and they are known for scooping up and swallowing fish in one gulp
PhaethontiformesTropicbirdRelated to pelicans and other seabirds, this bird lives in tropical climates and dines on fresh fish
PhoenicopteriformesFlamingoesFamed for their long legs and equally long necks, these graceful birds are unmistakable no matter what colors they come in
PiciformesWoodpeckers, Northern Flickers, Brown Jacamars, and Mustached PuffbirdsWoodpeckers are the most recognized in this group for their strong jaw muscles and even harder beak which is used to ferret out insects and dig holes in trees
PodicipediformesGrebesUnlike most types of birds that reside on and around freshwater lakes, grebes make nests on the water rather than on land

Graphics of birds species identification chart showing Mesitornithiformes (Mesites), Musophagiformes (Turacos), Opisthocomiformes (Hoatzins), Otidiformes (Bustards), Passeriformes (Finches, Sparrows, Skylarks, Tits, Waxwings, Starlings, Thrushes, and Wrens), Pelecaniformes (Pelicans, Cormorants, and Frigatebirds), Phaethontiformes (Tropicbird), Phoenicopteriformes (Flamingoes), Piciformes (Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, Brown Jacamars, and Mustached Puffbirds), and Podicipediformes (Grebes) images.

OrderList of BirdsCharacteristics
ProcellariiformesAlbatross and PetrelLong beaks with nostril holes are one of the trademarks of the large albatross, as is the length of its wingspan
PsittaciformesParrotsIt is not just their colorful plumage that sets them apart from other birds, but their very curved beaks and sharp intelligence
PteroclidiformesSandgrousesLocated on the ground in treeless areas, they are compact land lubbers but can take to the skies quickly and can fly for long distances
RheiformesRheasLooking like the smaller relative of Emus, these birds do not fly but use their long wings for additional balance when sprinting
SphenisciformesPenguinsDeserving of their own group due to there being 27 different types of penguins,4 they live in the ocean just as comfortably as on land
StrigiformesOwlsBig, unblinking eyes, and the ability to swivel their head 270 degrees, are unique features of this nocturnal predator
StruthioniformesOstrichesThe ostrich is the largest bird on the planet and lays the largest eggs. It cannot fly, using its long powerful legs to run at speeds of up to a blistering 70 km/h
SuliformesBoobies and GannetsBoobies are as stupid as their name suggests. Centuries ago, time after time they would land on passing ships, easily captured, and promptly eaten.
TinamiformesTinamousThese birds have a can-fly-won’t-fly attitude, preferring to run and hide rather than take to the safety of the open skies.
TrogoniformesTrogon, QuetzalsBrightly multi-colored, this small bird lives in tropical forests and has been around for at least 49 million years

Graphics of birds species identification chart showing Procellariiformes (Petrel and Albatross), Psittaciformes (Parrots), Pteroclidiformes (Sandgrouses), Rheiformes (Rheas), Sphenisciformes (Penguins), Strigiformes (Owls), Struthioniformes (Ostriches), Suliformes (Boobies and Gannets), Tinamiformes (Elegant Crested Tinamou, Grey Tinamou, Chilean Tinamou, Undulated Tinamou, and Yellow-Legged Tinamou), and Trogoniformes (Orange-Breasted Trogon, Masked Trogon, White-Tailed Trogon, and Quetzals) images.

The tables above listed over 80 types of birds from the orders in class Aves.

How Long Do Birds Live?

An easy question to answer? Not quite.

Unlike mammals like humans, cats, or dogs that show signs of wear and tear, and wrinkles, with the passing years, birds never even have a feather out of place, never mind turning gray.

Basically, they age differently and don’t conform to our time schedule.

How long certain birds live can be dependent on their habitats, if they are ground-dwellers or sky-scrapers, and even down to their size.

Smaller animals generally have faster metabolisms, and ultra-fast heartbeats, so tend to have shorter lifespans.

However, the longevity of birds in the same species can vary. From 5 years for an Elf Owl to 28 years for a Great Horned Owl, and both can have super-fast metabolisms.

Wide shot of Great Horned Owl perched on a thin tree branch showing yellow irises and off-white chest with gray and black patches.

(Image: National Park Service (NPS)16)

A predictive model has not been universally studied that can say definitively how long a species of bird can live, but the life cycle of several newly hatched bird species have been studied until death that has revealed results of how long your favorite budgies will be sitting on their perches.

Despite what a quick online search will unearth, the oldest bird ever recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records was a Cockatoo in a Chicago Zoo called Cookie.

Birds of North America (Species of Birds ID Charts)

Tracking the species and the development of birds is a fascinating subject, and North America alone has the privilege of having 900 species within the confines of its territory, roughly one-tenth of all the species of birds on the planet.

Some of them are household names and frequent garden visitors, while some of them are not so well known. Let’s look at a few of them to see what more we can find out about these high-flying residents.

Name of BirdsScientific NamesInteresting Facts
1. Wild Turkey5Meleagris gallopavoCalled gobblers because of the sound they make, the males have the most plumage. For big birds, both sexes are surprisingly fast on the ground and in the air
2. American PelicanPhoenicopterus ruberA span of 277 cm to the wing tip, gives the Pelican the widest wingspan there is of a flying bird
3. Whooping CraneGrus americanaIn North America the Whooping Crane towers above all the other frequent flyers
4. Downy WoodpeckerDryobates pubescensBlack and white, the males have a tuft of red at the nape of their necks. A shock-proof pad protects their brains during bouts of frantic wood-pecking
5. California CondorGymnogyps californianusIn the 1980s, extinction loomed for the largest bird in North America, with just 22 remaining. Now, approximately 240 exist in the wild with slightly fewer in protected zones
6. Golden EaglesAquila chrysaetosGolden Eagles are efficient hunters on the ground as well as in the air, sometimes running down their injured prey. In the air, they can reach speeds of 320km/h, snatching other birds in mid-flight or fast-moving victims on the ground
7. Red-Winged BlackbirdsAgelaius phoeniceusOne of the most common birds, the males have jet-black feathers with a splash of red. Unfortunately for the females, they are not very faithful, having up to 15 other mates

Types of Birds in Texas With Names and Pictures

The climate in Texas has attracted over 600 species of birds, making the state one of the most diverse for avians in the country.

Side shot of American Robin Bird perched on a Multiflora Rose Shrub showing brownish-orange chest and gray wings.

(Image: Hans Toom17)

If you are a new bird watcher in Texas, then the choice of which types of birds to catalog will keep you busy for a long time.

Name of BirdsScientific NamesInteresting Facts
8. American Robin6Turdus migratoriusThe male coloring is more vibrant than the females, but what is amazing about them are the bright blue eggs that they lay
9. Barn OwlTyto albaThis night hunter has excellent eyesight and lop-sided ears to better hear fleeing prey. Their soft feathers do not rustle or make a sound as they swoop in for the kill
10. Black-Bellied Whistling DuckDendrocygna autumnalisKnown for their bright pink bills, these birds are nocturnal and make unusual whistling sounds when swimming or flying
11. Northern CardinalCardinalis cardinalisInstantly recognizable from its bright red plumage, the cardinal is the state bird for Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana, and a few others
12. American OystercatcherHaematopus palliatusWith their long pink legs, they are accustomed to waddling across shellfish beaches to snatch and crack open oysters with their long orange beaks. Sometimes this backfires when the mollusk clamps down on their beaks, trapping them while the tide comes in
13. American DarterAnhinga anhingaAnhingas love the water, from freshwater lakes, swamps, marshes, and even mangroves. They use their sharp beaks to impale fish when they dive underwater. The catch is then casually tossed into the air and swallowed head first
14. Ringed KingfisherMegaceryle torquataIn Texas, they are commonly spotted around the Rio Grande where they can be found snacking on fish, insects, small lizards, and even snakes.

Types of Blue Birds

Blue birds in nature look amazing. Their natural habitats are constantly under attack with acres of trees, that they rely on for shelter, and food, are cut down each year.

Still, they continue undaunted, gathering pollen as they have been doing for centuries, accepting resolutely the damage caused by climate change and mankind.

Hyacinth Macaw showing feathers with varying shades of blue and yellow coloring around eyes and under the beak.

(Image: Hans18)

With the particular hue of their feathers, they appear to be anomalies in the wild, blue a color that surely would be a beacon for predators.

Yet these birds are far from shy about displaying their azure plumage, chests puffed out, wings spread wide.

Name of BirdsScientific NamesInteresting Facts
15. Hyacinth MacawAnodorhynchus hyacinthinus7Measuring 3 feet from head to tail, these cobalt-colored gentle giants are classed as granivores, frugivores, and herbivores because of the foods they consume. They are even more famous for their ability to mimic human voices
16. Asian Fairy-BluebirdIrena puellaBlack and blue all over, this medium-sized bird with bright red eyes, is native to tropical countries in Asia. When cared for properly as pets they can live up to 10 years or longer
17. Kalij PheasantLophura leucomelanosEven though the females are a dull brown and the males are a glossy bluish-black, both sexes have red wattles around the eyes. The male, with its wisp of a crest on its head, looks almost regal when spreading its wings for take-off.
18. Blue Whistling ThrushMyophonus caeruleusVery blue, very bold, and very loud are the best ways to describe this resident of Asia who greets every day whistling while foraging for insects and snails along streams.
19. Ultramarine FlycatcherFicedula superciliarisA white belly patch breaks up the deep blue coloring covering the rest of its body. A native of the Himalayas, this shy bird stays among the bushes and picks off insects as they shuffle on by
20. Violet SabrewingCampylopterus hemileucurusThe largest hummingbird residing outside of South America, this flashy bird displays feathers in various shimmering colors of violet, blue-green, and dark green that light up when caught in a ray of sunshine. A wonder to see when hovering effortlessly to feed on the nectar of the flowers
21. Red-Legged HoneycreeperCyanerpes cyaneusViolet-blue feathers contrast sharply against the black on its wings, and the tuft of turquoise on its head. With spindly red legs, this bird is a stand-out star from Mexico to Cuba
22. Tree SwallowsTachycineta bicolorThey get their name because of their nesting habits within trees, but these cobalt blue aerialists should be more famous for the way they hunt flying insects acrobatically through the air.

Types of Pet Birds

Deciding on which species of bird to have as a pet will depend on whether looks are the primary reason for wanting one, or companionship. It will be good to know which one as early as possible because some birds are very touchy-feely,8 and others just look really pretty perched on a perch.

But either way, it can be a learning experience, even choosing bird names being part of the fun.

Some birds are little chatterboxes and constantly like to be making noises or, in the case of parrots, literally chatting away at the first sign of an audience.

For some of these new pets, the size of the living space is going to be a consideration as pet birds come in various sizes, with some requiring more fluttering space than others.

Canary Bird perched on a branch showing bright yellow body and yellow with white tip wings.

(Image: Roy Buri19)

A funny thing with birds is that they have their own minds and can often do the unexpected.

With that in mind, it’s always good to know beforehand that if the cage door is left open accidentally if one of the residents will just hop out and explore their surroundings and then hop right on back in again later. Or if they will sense the opportunity for unfettered freedom and bolt for the open skies to vanish over the distant horizon, never to be seen again.

Name of BirdsScientific NamesInteresting Facts
23. The CanarySerinus canariaOnly the males are singers, and the American singer bird can do so a lot. They are quite active so require space in the cage to flutter about.
Territorial by nature, if there is a mirror in the cage, the reflection is going to get attacked quite often until it backs away
24. LovebirdsAgapornisThe strange thing with Lovebirds is that it is best to have them living singly. Two together will bond strongly and ignore their owners who may want to interact with them occasionally.
Be aware that poking a finger into the cage can result in a sharp nip in response until they become accustomed to the owner’s presence
25. BudgerigarsMelopsittacus undulatusMale Budgies are the talkers. Get them going and they will merrily tweet amongst themselves, and repeat words that they have learned.
Curious, sociable, and friendly, they will hop around outside of the cage and they make great companion pets
26. Cockatoos9CacatuidaeOne of the most sociable pets, these birds tend to be very needy. If you’re not giving them all your attention when they need it they’ll escape out of their cage, hop on your shoulder and give you a rap on the head until you shower them with affection
27. ConuresPsittacus solstitialisIf you want a pet with bundles of energy, Conures are fun, active, and affectionate. Better suited for experienced owners, however, as they can be a loud, mischievous handful
28. CockatielsNymphicus hollandicusEntertaining is the best way to describe these very intelligent birds that are excellent whistlers. Not big on talking, they are masters at copying sounds and will have you answering the door, opening the microwave, and checking your phone like a crazy person
29. Eclectus ParrotsEclectusThese very intelligent birds are perfect for beginners, as long as the environment isn’t too noisy. Too much can stress them out.
Males are bright green while females are red, and both can be taught to repeat phrases without knowing their meanings.

North America Backyard Birds

Being able to identify feathered visitors in the backyard can be a rewarding hobby, especially if you live in a zone where there is a wide range of avian visitors.

Northern Mockingbird perch on a pile of fresh and dry leaves showing gray body and light gray chest.

(Image: Bishnu Sarangi20)

Some will be easier to identify without referring to a big book of pictures of birds that would be too chunky to be pocket-size anyway.

Many will be recognizable by the color of their plumage alone, by their habits, or by their size. Others may be too similar in appearance apart from the color of their beaks, for example, so a little help in separating a little Chickadee from a Nuthatch might just make the task a little less daunting.

Name of BirdsScientific NamesInteresting Facts
30. Northern MockingbirdsMimus polyglottosMeasuring about 26cm to the tip of their long tails, these songsters are gray-brown with a lighter belly and will be frequent visitors if your plants or tree have juicy berries on them
31. Barn Swallows10Hirundo rusticaBeing the most widespread swallow in the world, it has become accustomed to living in close proximity to humans. Blessed with a deep blue back and white underbelly, it is often seen streaking through the air to snatch insects in mid-flight
32. Common YellowthroatsGeothlypis trichasJust 13cm long, this tiny brown and yellow bird has a slash of black across its eyes as if in disguise as it stealthily stays close to the ground to hunt and to not be hunted
33. Anna’s HummingbirdsCalypte annaYou will need to have keen eyesight to spot this 10cm little hoverer, despite its reddish-pink head and throat. Or place Hummingbird food to attract them and watch them at your leisure darting in and out of your flowerbed in a flash of pink
34. Indigo BuntingsPasserina cyaneaCompletely blue with streaks of black in its tail feathers, this bird is just 12-13cm long and weighs just 18g. They, too, can be bribed by seeds to be frequent flyers in backyards
35. Spotted TowheesPipilo maculatus17-21cm long, these black, brown, and white-bellied Sparrows feed on insects and berries and will pop in regularly to any backyard that lays out a spread of sunflower seeds. They nest either on the ground or in bushes for privacy but their long tails sticking out often give them away

Types of Jay Birds (Common Birds)

Jay birds are from the family Corvidae, and all have a similar physique but a wide range of colors and living habitats, having native environments from Singapore to Africa, and to the United States.

They are also known for being songbirds with a higher degree of intelligence compared to other types of birds and are very adaptable to new living situations.

Name of BirdsScientific NamesInteresting Facts
37. Yucatan JayCyanocorax yucatanicusIn the same Corvidae family as crows, the jay is less menacing. It has black and blue feathering, with an impressively long deeper blue tail and yellow legs, which softens its appearance even more
38. Green JayCyanocorax yncasIts green, elegant body is topped off by a head of blue and black feathers.11 Extremely clever, they can mimic the call of Hawks to ward off other birds.
They actually use sticks held in their beaks to pry insects from their hideyholes for a quick snack
39. Crested JayshrikePlatylophus galericulatusFound in forested areas across Asia, this impressive-looking bird is under threat of extinction due to logging practices. Also because of their plumage, they are much sought after as pets and are illegally traded on the underground
40. Amami JayGarrulus lidthiMainly found in Japan, its feathers are a mixture of black, purple, and red, with a light green or white beak. At one stage it was being hunted to near endangered species level by Mongoose.
They were introduced into the local regions to control the viper population, but instead nearly decimated these jays
41. Woodhouse’s Scrub-JayAphelocoma woodhouseiiIts memory allows it to remember where acorns have been stashed, either its own or, more importantly, another bird’s. It has an interesting manner of hopping and lunging to get over small distances rather than flying
42. Southeastern Blue JayCyanocitta cristata sempleiThis particular blue jay with its long blue tail and colorful wings, has a strange way of eating ants. Before consuming them the jay does what’s known as ‘anting’.
This involves rubbing the ant vigorously against its feathers to eliminate the protective acid the ants secrete, and then gobbling them up

Weirdest Birds in the World

Unquestionably, birds are a diverse species, products of both nature and nurture. But even some of their members are so different that they stand out in a weird way even among other weird-looking birds.

Wide shot of Shoebill Bird showing large pale yellow bill, gray-colored body, and long legs with grass in the background.

(Image: Melanie21)

None of them are ugly, or horrible to look at, just not what is expected from a species that is renowned for its grace in flight or its amazingly colorful plumages.

Here is a brief list of a few types of birds that fall into the weirdo category.

Name of BirdsScientific NamesInteresting Facts
43. ShoebillBalaeniceps rexNot one for the pet’s list, this bird is a throwback to the dinosaurs with a 1-foot hooked break that’s perfect for rending flesh. It stands at 4.5 feet tall and has a wingspan of 8 feet.
Native to Central-Eastern Africa
44. California Condor12Gymnogyps californianusThese cadaverous-looking birds look like they have one foot in the grave themselves, yet can live for up to 60 years. They constantly appear to be waiting for death to unfold directly before them so they can swoop down on their 10-foot-wide wings and begin to feast on the rotting flesh.
A familiar, if not chilling, sight in the Southwestern United States
45. The Southern CassowaryCasuarius casuariusDecorated with splashes of different colors, this large flightless bird is something else entirely – and its nickname would send a chill down the spine of any of its victims. Called the ‘Murderbird’, it has been known to kill a human being either by using its long claws or its beak.
Scarier still is that they can run at nearly 50km/h and leap from a standing position 7 feet into the air.
To be avoided in its native Australia
46. The Golden PheasantChrysolophus pictusSurely one of the most colorful birds on the planet. It is painted with bright orange, bright yellow, and bright red colors mixed with blues and speckles on its long tail feathers.
Not the best colors when trying to hide from predators, especially when flying isn’t one of its strong points.
Known as the Chinese Pheasant, seeing one is a sign of good luck, especially if you’re a hungry fox
47. Ribbon-Tailed AstrapiaAstrapia mayeriA very colorful species classed as a bird of paradise, with a medium body attached to tail feathers that are 3 feet long. Just two of them, designed to impress the females but occasionally they get caught underfoot and ruin a perfectly good strut.
Native to New Guinea
48. Long-Wattled UmbrellabirdCephalopterus penduligerA full crest of feathers makes it one of the cool birds hanging out on the branch. It also has an extremely unusual and extra-long wattle hanging from its neckline.
What’s even weirder is that this appendage has a name, Penduliger, and the bird can retract it when flying.
Exclusive to Colombia and Ecuador
49. The Tawny Frogmouth13Podargus strigoidesNocturnal by nature, these owl-like birds are able to blend into the trees where they sit unmoving and unblinking for hours. Excellent hunters of vermin, they are often barely seen against tree trunks during the day with beaks wide open.
As soon as an unsuspecting insect slithers into their snare, a quick snap and they’re gone.
Found, but hard to spot, in Australia
50. The HoatzinOpisthocomus hoazinThis blue-faced, red-eyed, spiky-crested bird doesn’t have many friends. That’s not down to its fierce demeanor, but to the simple fact that it smells awful.
It has earned the nickname, the ‘skunk bird’ as its interesting aroma wards off both predators and friends alike.
Located in South America

Which Countries Have the Most Species of Birds?

Despite the size of the United States, it doesn’t rank in the top 20 countries in the world with the most species of birds.

Most types of birds prefer to live where the weather is good for them, shelter is easy to find, and the food is plentiful.

From 10th to 1st, here is a list of the top 10 countries with the most species of birds

Graphics of countries with the most species of birds showing the number of bird species on the x-axis and countries The Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, China, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Indonesia, Brazil, Peru, and Colombia on the y-axis.

CountriesNo. of Bird Species
10. The Democratic Republic of the Congo1,107 species
9. India1,211 species
8. China1,288 species
7. Venezuela1,288 species
6. Bolivia1,438 species
5. Ecuador1,622 species
4. Indonesia1,711 species
3. Brazil1,813 species
2. Peru1,858 species
1. Colombia1,878 species

This list demonstrates that tropical climates harbor the most species. Unfortunately, in those top 5 countries, there are at least 100 species that are on the endangered list, under threat from overfarming, deforestation, and bad land management projects.

Related Reading: 87 Animals That Will Be Extinct by 2050 (Includes Rarest Animal in the World)

Birds are crucial to ecosystems around the world. Without them, the world would not be such a healthy and interesting place to live.

Understanding how to recognize types of bird species can be a fascinating hobby, and learning to protect bird habitats (trees) can help the planet even more.

Frequently Asked Questions About Types of Birds

Do Turkeys Sleep in Trees?

To those wondering, “Do turkeys sleep in trees?”, the answer is yes, they do. They like to scramble up onto branches for a snooze to avoid predators like foxes pouncing on them while they’re sleeping and making a meal of them.

Are Birds Mammals?

Birds are not mammals as they do not grow hair or fur, and are classified as avians instead.

What Are Birds Classified As?

In the kingdom Animalia, birds are classified as Aves.

How Are Birds Classified?

All types of birds are classified into two main groups, those that can fly, the Neognathae, and those that cannot, the Palaeognathae.14

Do Birds Pee?

Nope. Birds do not have urethra and instead, convert any nitrogen into uric acid that then leaves their bodies when they poop.

Do All Birds Have Feathers?

Yes, but one bird called Rhea, The Featherless Bird, has become featherless due to a disease called Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD). Two years after it was born all its feathers fell off and never grew back.

What Bird Has the Longest Wingspan?

The Wandering Albatross has the longest bird wings on Earth with a span of nearly 11 feet.


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9Miller, M. (2023, February 10). Popular Science: Clever cockatoos carry around toolkits. University of Cincinnati | UC News. Retrieved May 5, 2023, from <https://www.uc.edu/news/articles/2023/02/uc-biologist-explains-extraordinary-problem-solving-ability-of-cockatoos.html>

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15Sven Lachmann. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/images/id-2776081/>

16Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) Photo by National Park Service (NPS) / Public Domain Mark 1.0. Resized and Changed Format. From Flickr <https://www.flickr.com/photos/glaciernps/48920155928/sizes/c/>

17Hans Toom. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/images/id-6883523/>

18Hans. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/images/id-406777/>

19Roy Buri. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/images/id-3386319/>

20Bishnu Sarangi. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/images/id-1004777/>

21Melanie. Pixabay. Retrieved from <https://pixabay.com/images/id-5698547/>