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What Are The Top 5 Largest Birds In The World?

Updated on March 31, 2014

Whether you love them or you hate them, there can be no denying it that birds are one of those animals that we simply can't escape from in our everyday life. From the smallest to the largest, each of them are unique and fascinating in their own individual ways. However, the question to comes to mind about what is the largest species of bird in the world?

In order to do this though, we are not going to look at size and weight of the bird in making our decision. Instead, we shall look at what are the largest birds in the world based upon their wingspan.

An Example of the wingspan of an airplane
An Example of the wingspan of an airplane | Source

5. The Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus)

At number five on our list of the largest bird wingspans in the world we have the Whooper Swan (pronounced Hooper) with an average wingspan of between 6 ft. and 9ft. (2.75 metres). These birds, native to the northern hemisphere are relatively good at flying despite their size and weight. Their rather large wingspan could perhaps be said to be aiding them with this.

Whatever you might think about them, there is no denying that Swans look so majestic when they are in flight. They may have a bad temper when being approached by humans; then again we should not be going and trying to approach these swans in the first place.

4. Andean Condor (Vultur Gryphus)

At number four on the list of the largest birds in the world is the Andean Condor; a South American bird and member of the Vulture family. Found mainly in the Andes mountains and their adjacent coastlines, this bird is reported to have wingspans of up to 3.2 metres (10.5 feet). As a scavenger this bird feeds predominantly on the dead carcasses that it finds such as those of deer or cattle. What might be interesting to note about this bird though, is that unlike many other birds of prey, the male of this species is larger in size than the female.

Another quite interesting fact about this bird is that it is said to be one of the longest living birds with a lifespan of up to one hundred years old whilst remaining in captivity...

3. Marabou Stork (Leptoptilos crumeniferus)

The third largest bird on our list is the Marabou Stork with a reported wingspan of up to 3.7 metres (12 feet). It is a sub-Saharan species of bird which is said to inhibit areas near human settlement. This is mainly because of its scavenging ways and so you will often find these birds around rubbish tips. It mainly feeds on the flesh of dead animals, however, they have been noted to feed on other smaller birds such as Pigeons.

2. Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus)

At number two on our list of the five largest birds in the world we have the Great White Pelican. This bird is part of the Pelican family (as you may have guessed) and is found predominantly in southeast Europe and Asia. In terms of wingspan, these birds are said to normally be between 2.20 metres (7.4 ft.) and 3.8 metres (12 ft). However, they need a large wingspan when you consider that adult males can weigh anywhere from 9kg (20lb) to 15kg (33lb).

1. Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans)

At number one on our search we have the Wandering Albatross. It is commonly found on Islands in the Southern Hemisphere such as New Zealand. The Wandering Albatross has the largest wingspan of any living bird, typically ranging from 2.51 to 3.5 m (8 ft 3 in to 11 ft 6 in), with a mean span of 3.1 m (10 ft 2). It is the largest member of the albatross family and as such is said to be one of the largest birds in the world.

What is strange about these birds though, is that they spend most of their lives in flight landing only to breed and feed. Hence, the reason why they are called the wandering albatross.

In terms of diet, they are similar to most sea dwelling birds in that they eat crustaceans and fish.


These would not have been the birds with the largest wingspan ever.

Argentavis Magnificens

This prehistoric bird from around 6 million years ago was said to have had a wingspan of 7m (23ft.). Fossils for these birds have been found in Argentina...

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    • profile image

      khaliq 4 years ago

      this is not a big bird

    • profile image

      kristine joy 4 years ago

      awesome so big