A Visual Comparison of 55 Bird Species by Size

Birds play a central role in the functioning of the world’s ecosystems and biodiversity, in a way that directly impacts human health, economy and food production – as well as millions of other species. But how many species of birds are there, actually? about 18,000, according to the American Museum of Natural History. This infographic from the AlansFactoryOutlet team visualizes 50 of the more widely known ones and compares them by size.

What is the largest bird on earth?

The largest bird on earth is the common ostrich (Struthio camelus). They grow to be seven feet tall on average, but males can grow up to a staggering 9.2 feet tall! And their weight can range from 200 to 280 pounds! Ostrich eggs are the world’s largest, averaging around 6 inches (150 mm) in length by 5 inches (125 mm) in diameter with a weight of 3 pounds (1.35 kg).

Common ostrich male and females in Etosha National Park, Namibia. Photo: Yathin S Krishnappa

What is the largest bird of prey?

The the largest bird of prey in terms of body length is the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus). It can grow up to around 55 inches or 140 cm, narrowly beating out the Andean condor. However, the Andean condor’s 10-foot wingspan somewhat exceeds that of the California condor. 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 thanks to conservation efforts today more than 300 California condors are living in the wild.

A Californian Condor in flight, photographed in Zion National Park, Utah. Photo: PhilArmitage

What is the smallest bird on earth?

The smallest bird on Earth is the bee hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae), measuring a mere 2 inches and weighing less than a dime. Actually, it is often mistaken for a bee. Bee hummingbirds are only found in Cuba, hovering among heavy vines and bromeliads. While airborne, they flap their wings 80 times a second, which can rise up to 200 beats per second during a courtship flight.

Bee hummingbird female photographed in Cuba. Photo: Charles J. Sharp


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