What Bird Has the Largest Wingspan: An In-Depth Look

The wandering albatross has the largest wingspan of any bird in the world. The average wingspan of these magnificent creatures is almost 11 feet, with some specimens reaching a whopping 12 feet! The male and female birds are similar in size and appearance, but the male has a slightly larger beak. Albatrosses are found throughout the Southern Hemisphere, from Antarctica to Australia.

Their size and aerodynamic shape allow albatrosses to soar for hours at a time, gliding effortlessly over the oceans in search of food. The wandering albatross uses its long wingspan to take advantage of air currents from both above and below, allowing them to remain airborne for extended periods and traverse vast distances.

The birds are able to go days without flapping their wings, conserving energy during long-distance migrations. The longest recorded flight of a wandering albatross was over 8,000 miles!

Albatrosses have strong legs and webbed feet that allow them to “walk” on the waves or launch themselves into the air. The underside of their wings is dark gray or black, while the top side is white. The birds are also equipped with powerful talons and hooked beaks to help them catch prey from the ocean’s surface.

Wandering albatrosses feed mainly on squid, fish, crustaceans, and other small animals found in the ocean. The birds often follow ships or trawlers to feed on scraps and rubbish thrown overboard. The albatross can swallow large amounts of food at once, and they have even been known to eat plastic and other human trash floating in the water.

The wandering albatross is listed as a vulnerable species due to environmental threats such as climate change, fishing gear entanglements, and plastic pollution. The birds are also vulnerable to habitat destruction due to human activities and the introduction of invasive species. The population of albatrosses has decreased by 60 percent in some areas since the late 1980s.

While their impressive wingspans make them a wonder to behold, the future of these majestic birds is uncertain. The conservation of their habitat and protection from human threats is critical if we hope to keep these magnificent creatures around for generations to come. It is our responsibility to ensure that these beautiful birds have a safe place to call home.

8 Birds With the Largest Wingspan

1. Bald Eagle

 Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle is arguably the bird with the largest wingspan in North America. With a wingspan of up to 8 feet, the bald eagle is one of the most powerful and awe-inspiring birds that can be found flying over both coasts of the United States.

Its remarkable size and power have made it an enduring symbol of strength and freedom, and it is even featured prominently on the seal of the United States. The bald eagle’s wingspan is so large that it can be seen from quite far away; some have reported spotting them over 50 miles away!

Their size gives them incredible power and maneuverability in the air, allowing them to soar for long distances and gain altitude quickly as they hunt for food. They are also incredible hunters, with their razor-sharp talons making them incredibly efficient predators.

2. Ostrich

The Ostrich is a large flightless bird that inhabits most of Africa and parts of the Middle East. It has the largest wingspan of any living bird, measuring up to 3.2 meters (10 feet) from tip to tip! Ostriches weigh between 100 and 160 kilograms (220-352 pounds), making them one of the heaviest birds in the world.

They have long, powerful legs and can run at speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour (43 miles per hour). Despite their large size, they are surprisingly agile and can even outrun many of their predators.

Although Ostriches lack the ability to fly, they do have wings that they use to balance while running and to shade themselves from the sun. They also use their wings for courtship displays, flapping them to create a “fanning” effect in order to attract mates. Ostriches have keen eyesight and hearing that help them detect potential predators before they get too close.

The Ostrich is an amazing creature, and its large wingspan makes it stand out from the crowd! It’s a great example of how evolution can produce some truly remarkable creatures. Even though they cannot fly, they make up for it with their extraordinary size and speed. The Ostrich is certainly one bird you won’t want to miss!

3. Lappet-faced Vulture

Lappet-faced Vulture

The Lappet-faced Vulture (Torgos tracheliotus) is a large Old World vulture with a wingspan that can reach up to 10 feet. It is the largest of all the African vultures and can be found in Africa, from Ethiopia to South Africa. This enormous bird has impressive wings that help it soar through the sky, as well as powerful talons and a hooked beak for tearing into its prey.

The Lappet-faced Vulture is primarily a scavenger that feeds on the carcasses of large mammals, but will also hunt smaller animals like rodents and reptiles if necessary. It prefers to feed on carrion, which it finds using its exceptional eyesight and sense of smell. The vulture will circle the sky until it spots a carcass on the ground and then makes a swift dive to feed on it.

The Lappet-faced Vulture has very distinctive plumage which includes white patches on its head and neck, black feathers down its wings, and a black tail. They are mainly solitary birds that sometimes form small groups when feeding on carrion. During the breeding season, they nest in large colonies located on cliffs or tall trees.

The Lappet-faced Vulture is considered to be an endangered species due to habitat loss, poisoning of its food sources, and hunting for traditional medicine. Conservation efforts are underway to help protect this species, with some success so far.

To summarize, the Lappet-faced Vulture is one of the largest birds in Africa and has the largest wingspan at 10 feet. It is a scavenger that primarily feeds on carrion, using its excellent eyesight and sense of smell to find its food.

Its distinctive plumage includes white patches on the head and neck, black feathers down the wings, and a black tail. It is an endangered species that faces threats from habitat loss, poisoning of its food sources, and hunting for traditional medicine. Conservation efforts are underway to help protect this species.

4. Andean condor

The Andean condor has the largest wingspan of any bird in the world, measuring up to 12 feet from tip to tip. This majestic bird is a member of the vulture family and can be found in the mountains and valleys of South America.

The Andean condor is a powerful glider, taking advantage of the strong air currents found in its mountainous habitats. It uses its large wingspan to soar for hours without having to flap its wings.

The Andean condor is an impressive sight, with a white ruff of feathers around its neck and a red or orange bald patch on top of its head. Its body is black, except for its flight feathers which are usually dark brown.

The wingspan of the Andean condor is not only impressive in size but also in design. Its large primary feathers help it to create lift while soaring and its long tail gives it extra stability in the air.

The Andean condor has a lifespan of up to 50 years and is an important part of the ecosystem in its native range. It feeds on carrion, helping to keep the environment clean by scavenging for dead animals. In addition, it plays a role in dispersing seeds from plants that live on the mountainsides where it lives.

The Andean condor is listed as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources due to habitat loss and human persecution. Though it is not considered endangered, its population has declined significantly in recent years.

It is important that we take steps to protect this majestic bird by protecting its habitat and ensuring that it has enough food to survive. This will ensure that future generations can enjoy this incredible species and its impressive wingspan.

5. Lammergeier


The Lammergeier (Gypaetus barbatus), also known as the Bearded Vulture, is a large Old World vulture that has an impressive wingspan of up to 2.9 meters! It’s one of the largest vultures in the world and can be found across much of Europe, Asia and Africa.

The Lammergeier is a distinctive bird, with a bald head, black feathers on its wings and tail, and white undersides. They can live up to 30 years in the wild and feed mainly on bones – they even drop bones from great heights onto rocks to break them open! They also eat dead animals, as well as some fruits and plants.

The Lammergeier’s impressive wingspan helps it to soar high into the sky and spot potential meals from a great distance, as well as help them cover large areas of land when searching for food. They are also incredibly strong, with a powerful grip that enables them to carry heavy bones back to their nests.

The Lammergeier is an endangered species, mainly due to habitat loss, poaching and poisoning. Conservationists are working hard to help protect this magnificent bird and its impressive wingspan.

6. Cassowary

Cassowaries are solitary animals that live in dense rainforest habitats. They are known to nest on the ground or in trees, where they lay a clutch of two eggs per season. These eggs incubate for around 50 days before hatching. The cassowary is endangered due to habitat destruction and hunting, so their populations are in decline.

The cassowary is a large and powerful bird native to Australia and New Guinea. It is the third tallest bird in the world and has the widest wingspan of any living bird, with males reaching up to 7.9 feet (2.4 meters) across! The feathers on its wings are grayish-black but can vary in color. The cassowary is an omnivore, and its diet consists of fruits, seeds, flowers, small animals, and insects.

7. Cinereous Vultures

Cinereous Vultures

The Cinereous Vulture is the largest extant bird of prey in the world. It has a wingspan that can reach up to 3 meters (nearly 10 feet). Its primary habitat is in Central Asia, where it feeds on carrion and occasionally small mammals or reptiles.

The Cinereous Vulture’s diet is mostly composed of large mammals, such as wild sheep and horses. It also scavenges from carcasses that have been killed by other predators.

The Cinereous Vulture has a very impressive wingspan for its size and is capable of soaring for long distances without the need to flap its wings. This allows it to cover larger distances than other birds of its size.

The Cinereous Vulture is also an incredibly powerful predator and has been known to overpower large mammals such as wild sheep, horses, and even young deer on occasion. In addition to its impressive wingspan, the vulture also has long talons that it uses to capture prey. It is also an expert scavenger, able to find food in even the most difficult conditions.

Unfortunately, due to habitat loss and hunting, the Cinereous Vulture’s population has been declining for some time. Conservation efforts are attempting to reverse this trend by protecting its habitat and implementing laws that limit hunting.

The Cinereous Vulture is not only an impressive predator, but it also has a wingspan that earns it the title of having one of the largest wingspans among birds. It is an integral part of its environment and will hopefully continue to thrive with the help of conservation efforts.

8. Harpy eagle

The harpy eagle is the world’s largest bird of prey in terms of size, with an average wingspan of 7 to 8 feet. However, they are better known for their formidable strength rather than their size. Harpy eagles are top predators in their ecosystems and have been known to take down monkeys, sloths, and other animals that can weigh up to 15 pounds.

The harpy eagle is native to Central and South America, where it lives in tropical rainforests. They are easily recognizable due to their distinctive white head with black crests, which makes them stand out among other birds of prey. They also have strong talons that help them catch their prey, as well as sharp eyesight that allows them to spot their target from far away.

Harpy eagles have been heavily persecuted in the past due to fears of humans and their livestock being attacked by these large birds of prey. As a result, they are considered an endangered species throughout most of Central and South America. Conservation efforts are underway to protect these majestic creatures, and their numbers have been slowly increasing in recent years.

The harpy eagle may not have the largest wingspan of all birds, but it certainly has the most impressive presence on the planet. Its size and strength make it one of nature’s most impressive predators, and its conservation efforts ensure that future generations will be able to experience its power and beauty. These majestic birds are truly a sight to behold, and they deserve our respect and protection.

9. Andean Condor

Andean Condor

The Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) is a species of South American bird in the family Cathartidae. It is the largest flying bird native to the continent, with an estimated wingspan of 3.2 meters (10 feet 6 inches). This massive wingspan allows the Andean condor to soar through the air with ease and grace, while still being capable of holding its position in even the strongest winds.

The Andean condor is mainly a scavenger, feeding on carrion and bones left by other animals. It also has an impressive array of physical adaptations that help it survive in its native habitat.

Its thick feathers are designed to keep it warm while its long, sharp claws and beak are used to break open the carcasses of dead animals. The Andean condor is also incredibly social, forming large nesting colonies in cliffsides or tall trees.

The Andean condor is an endangered species due to human activities, including hunting and habitat destruction. Conservation efforts are being made to protect the species, with countries like Peru and Ecuador taking steps to limit hunting and restrict development in areas where the birds are found. There are also captive breeding programs that have successfully increased their numbers.

Despite these challenges, the Andean condor remains one of the most majestic creatures on earth. Its impressive wingspan and unique adaptations make it a remarkable species, and it is truly a sight to behold in its natural habitat.

10. Dalmatian pelican

The Dalmatian pelican holds the title for having the longest wingspan of any bird in the world. This species of the pelican is found mainly in Southeast Europe, Central Asia, and India. The Dalmatian Pelican typically has a wingspan that ranges from 8 to 9 feet (2.4-2.7 m).

On occasion, there have been reports of Dalmatian Pelicans with wingspans that are even longer. The longest recorded wingspan was measured at 11 feet (3.35 m). This is remarkable since the average weight of a Dalmatian Pelican is between 17-22 lbs (7.7-10 kg).

Apart from their impressive wingspan, Dalmatian Pelicans are also known for their stunning coloration. The body of the bird is white and gray with a pinkish-orange bill. The eyes are bright yellow, and the wings have black tips.

In terms of behavior, these birds can be quite social. They often gather in large flocks, and they are able to form strong bonds with other members of their species.

In terms of diet, Dalmatian Pelicans feed mainly on fish. They dive into the water for their prey and catch them with the help of the serrated edges of their bills. In addition to fish, these birds also occasionally eat amphibians, crustaceans, and other aquatic animals.

Overall, the Dalmatian Pelican is a remarkable bird with an impressive wingspan. These birds are truly a sight to behold and deserve recognition for their size and beauty. It is no surprise that they are regarded as one of the most majestic creatures in the avian world.


The wandering albatross has the largest wingspan of any bird, measuring up to 11.5 feet and weighing up to 26 pounds. This colossal wingspan allows them to soar over the ocean for days at a time in search of food.

The wandering albatross is found mainly in the Southern Hemisphere and its massive wingspan has made it an iconic species. Its wingspan provides incredible lift, allowing it to soar with ease over long distances and making it one of the most remarkable birds in the world. It is a truly unique species and an impressive feat of nature.

Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.