Our planet is home to over 9000 bird species that come in all different sizes and colors. As every bird has their unique features and characteristics, stay with us as we are looking at the 10 of the most unique birds in the world.
10 Unique Birds in the world
 The hoatzin,
also known as the reptile bird, skunk bird, stinkbird, or Canje pheasant, can be found in swamps, riparian forests, and mangroves of the Amazon and the Orinoco basins in South America.
It looks like a bird related to cuckoos, pheasants, and ancient prehistoric birds, but in the end, it still has unique characteristics which are the reason why it is allocated to a separate family called Opisthocomidae. With a long tail composed of ten, loosely attached feathers, and completely developed wings, it rarely flies.
A unique feature, characteristic for both the hoatzin and the prehistoric dinosaur called Archaeopteryx, which was a blend between lizards and birds, are clawing at the end of wings.
Hoatzin uses its claws to climb the trees. Further examination showed that hoatzin is not a modern version of the Archaeopteryx, but rather it developed claws because of the specific lifestyle, as the claws prevent hoatzin to fall into the water while climbing the nearby vegetation.
. The ribbon tailed Australia
is distributed and endemic to subalpine forests in the western part of the central highlands of Papua New Guinea. The body is normally velvet black, though the male has iridescent olive green and bronze plumage adorned with ornamental
“ball” plume above its bill and two extremely long, ribbon-like tail feathers.
One of the most remarkable birds of paradise, the male ribbon-tailed Astrapia has the longest tail feathers about body size of any bird, over three times the length of its body. The terrifically long tails of male Ribbon-tailed Astrapia’s sometimes cause them to untangle their tails before they can fly away, which is not a survival advantage. But the tails also help them to entice females.
By carefully choosing their mates, the females determine which males’ genes and what kinds of tails survive to the next generation.
Occurring over tropical and subtropical waters off America, the magnificent frigatebird is a large seabird with brownish-black plumage and grayish-black legs and feet, and the male magnificent frigatebird is most distinguished by its bright red throat pouch (gular sac) that inflates like a balloon when he is trying to attract a mate. This seabird possesses the largest wingspan to body weight ratio of any other bird species in the world.
When Charles Darwin first observed this bird, he was so captivated by it that he nicknamed it the “condor of the ocean.” You may wonder, how are they named frigatebird? They harass and rob other birds, especially gulls, of their food mid-flight. They often do this by grabbing the tails of other birds by their bills and shaking them to exhaustion until they either release their prey or regurgitate it.
[ 7]. nightjar
Found in dry savannah habitats with some scrub in Africa, the standard winged nightjar usually fly at dusk most often at sundown and are often observed together with fruit bats or flying foxes.
Their cryptic appearance blends perfectly into their habitat and during the daytime,
they have usually hidden away from sleeping. They are most easily detected at night when light from car headlights is reflected ruby-red from their eyes, as they are sitting on tracks or roads. However, their presence is most often made known by their loud calls given at dusk. The adult male has a bizarre and unusual wing ornament during the breeding season which consists of a broad central flight feather on each wing elongated to 38 centimeters (15 in). In normal flight, these feathers trail behind, but in display flight, they are raised vertically
Living between eastern Honduras and western Panama, the male three-wattled bellbird has a white head and throat, and the remaining plumage is chestnut brown. From the base of his beak dangle three long, slender, black wattles that he uses in the display. Because of the secretive behavior of this bird, it is often only detected by the distinctive bell-like call given by the males. At close range, the vocalization of many in Costa Rica is heard as a complex three-part song, the “bonk” giving the bird its name. This hollow, wooden “bonk” is thought to be among the loudest bird calls on Earth, audible to humans from over 0.5 miles (0.80 km) away.
Endemic to montane forest in New Guinea, the king of Saxony bird-of-paradise is approximately 22 cm (8.7 in) long. The male is black and yellow with a dark brown iris, black bill, brownish-grey legs, aqua-green mouth, with two remarkably long scalloped, enamel-blue brow-plumes that can be erected at the bird’s will. The King of Saxony Bird of Paradise’s mating courtship behavior consists of a combination of vocalizations and physical maneuvers, enhanced by its magnificent and unique plumage. The male’s occipital feathers or “head wires” are one of a kind as they no longer possess their regular feather structure, but instead are eye-catching ornaments that possess no functionality.
These feathers have evolved as the result of female selection, in which females select
males based upon indirect genetic benefits which increase offspring fitness.
Breeding on the coasts of Peru and Chile,
the Inca tern is a large tern, approximately 40 cm (16 in) long.
As one of the world’s most beautiful and interesting birds, this bird is easily recognizable with its dark gray body, red-orange beak and claws, and its lovely white mustache. The mustache alone isn’t just an adornment. Scientists have learned that the length of the Inca tern’s mustache indicates the health condition of the bird, meaning the longer the healthier. Research also has shown that Inca terns with longer mustaches are more drawn to one another and produce more offspring than are larger with better immune responses. It is an adept flier that swoops and hovers before it dives after its prey, and sometimes snatching it right out of the mouths of sea lions and dolphins, Unfortunately, their populations are declining quickly because of the loss of nesting sites, where they are currently listed as near threatened by IUCN.
Found in the humid forests of western Colombia and Ecuador, the long wattled umbrellabird’s common name comes from a long, inflatable wattle on the neck of the male, which is up to 35 cm (12 in) long and covered in short, scaly feathers. Like some other birds, the male Long-wattled
Umbrellabirds gather at established sites, called “leks.”
Here, they display to females, who visit to pick the “best” male to father their brood.
Male umbrellabirds show off by raising their crests, inflating and swinging their long wattles, and making loud, grunting calls and low-frequency booming sounds which can be heard up to almost a mile away. However, the easy-to-locate lek mating areas make it particularly susceptible to trapping and hunting. Those, along with deforestation have caused this unique bird to be classified as vulnerable by IUCN.
The superb lyrebird is a ground-dwelling bird species native to Australia. It is one of the world’s largest songbirds and is renowned for its elaborate tail and courtship displays, and its excellent mimicry.
With a body of brown and grey, and reddish hue wings, this bird sports long, striped tail feathers that curl outward at the ends, and fluffy plumage around the tail.
This bird is well-known for its impressive ability to mimic sounds, including chainsaws, car alarms and engines, camera shutters, crying babies, music, ring tones, and even words.
The superb lyrebird is considered to display the most sophisticated voice skills
within the animal kingdom. In the past, hunting for their ornate feathers, which commonly adorned hats, was problematic for the species.
Because they are restricted to such a small range, this hunting, in addition to habitat
destruction, resulted in rapid population decline. Luckily, increasing protections for both lyrebirds and their rainforest habitat has led to a steady re-growth of population.
bird of paradise
Distributed throughout rain forests of New
Guinea, the superb bird of paradise is a small, approximately 26 cm (10 in) long passerine bird. The male is black with an iridescent green crown, blue-green breast cover, and a long velvety black erectile cape covering his back.
This species has an unusually low population of females, and competition amongst males for mates is intensely fierce. This has led the species to have one of the most bizarre and elaborate courtship displays in the avian world.
After carefully and meticulously preparing a “dance floor”, the male first attracts a
female with a loud call. After the curious female approaches, his folded black feather cape and blue-green breast shield springs upward and spread widely and symmetrically around its head, instantly transforming the frontal view of the bird into a spectacular ellipse-shaped creature that rhythmically snaps its tail feathers against each other. The show that males put on to attract females can be a long process, which may take up many hours in a day.