Earth is home to an incredible abundance of biodiversity, and birds are no exception. But how many species of birds are there? According to the American Museum of Natural History, there are about 18,000 bird species in the world. These avian wonders range in size, color, habitat, and behaviors. This infographic from the AlansFactoryOutlet team visualizes 50 bird species and compares them by size:
What Is the Largest Bird on Earth?
The largest bird on Earth is the common ostrich. While they grow to be an average of seven feet tall, male common ostriches can grow up to a staggering 9.2 feet tall! In addition to their regal height, ostriches can range from 200 to 280 pounds. Their immense size begs the question: How big are ostrich eggs? Ostrich eggs are the world’s largest eggs, averaging around 6 inches (150 mm) in length by 5 inches (125 mm) in diameter with a weight of 3 pounds (1.35 kg). Here are a few other fascinating ostrich facts:
- Ostriches have three stomachs.
- Ostriches have the ability to secrete urine separately from feces, unlike all other birds.
- Ostriches are faster than any other bird or two-legged animal: They can sprint at speeds of 45 miles per hour (70 kilometers per hour) and can cover 16 feet (5 meters) in a single stride!
- Ostriches have a wingspan of 6.5 feet (2 meters). They use this impressive wingspan in mating displays, to provide shade to chicks, to cover the bare skin of their legs to conserve heat, and as “rudders” to aid in changing direction while running.
- The ostrich has the largest eye of any land animal, measuring 2 inches across (5 cm). This allows them to scan for predators such as lions across long distances. In fact, an ostrich eye is bigger than their brain.
What Is the Largest Bird of Prey?
The California condor is the largest bird of prey in terms of body length (up to around 55 inches or 140 cm), narrowly beating out the Andean condor. However, the Andean condor’s 10-foot wingspan exceeds the California condor’s 8-to-9.8-foot wingspan. The California condor’s egg is around 4.5 inches long and almost 3 inches wide, weighing around 11 ounces. California condors became extinct in the wild in 1987 but have since been reintroduced to Arizona, Utah, and the coastal mountains of California thanks to conservation efforts. Today, more than 300 California condors are living in the wild. In 2019, the California Condor Recovery Program announced its 1,000th California condor chick hatched!
What Is the Smallest Bird on Earth?
The smallest bird on Earth is known as the bee hummingbird. The bee hummingbird measures a mere 2 inches, weighs less than a dime, and is often mistaken for a bee. Bee hummingbirds are only found in Cuba, hovering among heavy vines and bromeliads. They flap their wings 80 times a second when they’re flying, and during a courtship flight, that rises to up to 200 beats per second.