Weird Birds: 13 of the Weirdest Birds Ever

What’s the weirdest bird alive?

Here’s a collection of some of the strangest, weirdest and most bizarre birds you’ll ever meet…


An Introduction To Weird Birds     

The world has thousands of bird species, but there are some species with bizarre habits, strange diets, and starkly frightening features. You’ll never see anything like these birds – weird to the core.

Weird Birds have unique features that set them apart from other bird species. Some of these features are so bizarre; you’d be tempted to think they were made up.

When compared with their closest relatives, these bird species each showed distinctiveness, making them unique on their own.


Origin and Evolution of the Weird Birds

Several bird species from different genus and family are weird in nature. These bird species originate from different ecoregions and have evolved for varying centuries.

Of particular interest is the Oilbird, which is the most evolutionary distinct bird species ever, with about 80 million years of evolution. 

See Also: Beautiful Birds: Top 25 Most Beautiful Birds In The World


13 of the World’s Weirdest Birds

Now, let’s take a look at some of the world’s weirdest birds:


1. Kagu (Rhynochetos jubatus

The Kagu Bird species is noteworthy for the nasal cones it has over its nostrils.

It’s believed the structures evolved to filter off dust and particles since the bird forages in the dirt.

The bird species is only found in New Caledonia and is the only species of its genus and family left.

The male Kagu spends most of its time alone, only co-incubating with the female during the breeding season.


2. Christmas Island Frigatebird (Fregata andrewsi

If you guessed the bird, as the name implies, is from Christmas Island, you’re so right. This bird is weird for its feeding habits.

As an aerial kleptoparasite, it divebombs other birds to steal food from them. If you ever catch sight of this, you’d be extremely thrilled.


3. Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi)

The Philippine Eagle, also known as the Haring Ibon, is commonly found in the Philippines.

The bird species is weird for so many reasons: it has an annoying spiky hair and eats monkeys for dinner.

It is the Philippines’ national bird, and killing one could land you in jail.

The Philippine Eagle is among the world’s largest eagles, weighing up to 17 pounds, with a length of 85 – 100 cm. It has brown plumage, with a cream underbelly.

The bird species don’t only enjoy monkeys; it takes particular delight in feeding on reptiles, young pigs, squirrels, and small dogs.

See Also: Florida Birds Of Prey: 21 Birds To Watch Out For!


4. Long-Wattled Umbrellabird (Cephalopterus penduliger)

The bird’s name comes from its large umbrella-like bird that covers its beak.

Another weird feature it has is its long-feathered wattle hanging from its chest.

The bird species, commonly found in Columbia and Ecuador, feeds on insects, lizards, and nuts.


5. Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)

The Greater Sage-Grouse, found in North America, is easily recognized by its large breast sacs, small head, and long tail.

An interesting, weird feature of this bird species is it’s mating process: the female would have to pick a mate from several males who show off their bulging air sacs in the open for several hours.


6. Oilbird (Steatornis caripensis

The Oilbird, found in South America, is a nocturnal bird that spends most of its time in caves. The bird species the only flying nocturnal fruit eater in the world.

The Oilbird makes the list of the world’s weirdest birds due to its oily nature. In fact, people used to boil them to extract the oil in their bodies.


7. Great Potoo (Nyctibius grandis)

The Great Potoo has weird-looking, bulging eyes that glow its characteristic yellow color at night.

However, it’s not the yellow eyes that are most weird about this bird species.

Instead, it’s the scary growl it makes, sounding like the soundtrack of a horror movie.

The bird is found in Central and South America, and Mexico. It mates for life, and it co-care for the nestlings.


8. Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin)

Hoatzins are weird-looking bird species found in Northern and Central South America.

Their foul odor and bizarre looks have given nicknames such as stinkbird and reptile bird.

There’s absolutely nothing that isn’t weird about them.

The Hoatzin has a blue face, brown mohawk crest, and blood-shot eyes. Its characteristic stinky smell is caused by the fermenting of its plant diet on its foregut. The bird also has scary claws on its wings for tree climbing.


9. Shoebill stork (Balaeniceps rex)

Shoebill stork, commonly found in Central-Eastern Africa, is popular for its shoe-shaped bill. Its beak is the largest of all birds, with a length of about 9 inches, and a width of 4 inches.

It is an unmistakable bird in the African safari, and it’s a particular delight to tourists visiting that region.


10. Victoria Crowned Pigeon (Guora Victoria)

There are over 300 pigeon species in the world, and the Victoria Crowned Pigeon stands out with its beautiful crest of feathers. The bird species is not only the largest pigeon in the world, but it is also the most intriguing.

The Victoria Crowned Pigeon is native to New Guinea and is named after Queen Victoria – the British monarch of the 19th century.


11. Tawny Frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

You can easily tell from the name that this weird-looking bird has a mouth shaped like a frog.

This camouflaging bird is found in Australia, with its mottled gray, white, and black feathers, enabling it blends in easily with trees.

The bird species do look like an owl with its big yellow eyes and stocky head.

The Tawny Frogmouth has tiny feet and walks like someone with arthritis. It mates for life, rarely leaving its habitat.


12. Kiwi Birds (Apteryx australis)

Kiwi birds are fat, dinosaur-looking, flightless bird species found in New Zealand. These nocturnal birds resemble the kiwi fruit, with its fuzzy brown feathers.

The female kiwi bird has a very large egg, usually weighing up to 16 ounces. The chicks attain maturity after five years and can live up to 50 years.

These unusual bird species have their nostrils at the beak top.


13. Southern ground hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) 

These Sub-Saharan African bird species spend their time on the ground, unlike other hornbill species. They are weird for their red, swollen face.


Behavior

The weird birds all have different behavior patterns. The Hoatzins, for example, are weak flyers and spend most of their time foraging on water.

They exhibit territorial behavior during the breeding season, while they move in groups during the non-breeding season.

In taking care of their young, up to six helps render a pair help.


Lifestyle and Health

The different bird species that make up the world’s weirdest birds list have varying lifestyles and life expectancy. The Kiwi Bird, for example, lives up to 50 years of age.


Population and Distribution 

Some weird bird populations are distributed across the Americas. The Great Potoo and Hoatzin are found in South America. 


Other Physical Characteristics 

Just like with their lifestyles, food habits, and habitats, weird birds have different physical characteristics evolved for their survival.

The Philippine Eagle is among the world’s largest eagles with a weight of about 17 pounds. 

The Shoebill Stork has the largest bill of all bird species, with up to 9 inches in length and 4 inches in width.


Habitat

The primary habitats for the weird birds differ for some, while others live in similar habitats. 

Many of the birds make their homes on trees and shrubs in woodlands and rainforest. Some of them forage on the ground or water during the day and nest at night.


FAQs

Question 1 – What Eats a Tawny Frogmouth?

Tawny Frogmouths are preyed upon by large birds and some carnivorous animals. 

Question 2 – How does the Oilbird build its nest? 

The Oilbird uses its barf and nest in building its nest. 

Question 3 – Do Kiwi Birds Look Like Kiwi Fruit? 

Kiwi Birds bear a resemblance to the Kiwi fruit with their flurry, brown plumage.

See Also: Bird Symbol: 10 Ancient Bird Signs And Symbols Explained