We have given you a glimpse of some of the rarest, weird-looking, and unique species that you never thought existed on Earth. Well, we are not done yet on our quest for our weird specie compilation. We have prepared 20 of the most unique-looking birds on Earth that for sure you have never seen up until now (except if you’re an avid zoo visitor or if you lived in the forest). 😉
But if you are not any of these two types people, sit back, relax, and enjoy our top 20 weird but beautiful-looking birds. And if ever you reach the bottom of this page, share with us your thoughts or even photos of these birds if you have one. We look forward to seeing you in the comments section.
1. Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu
This beautiful, small, red-lipped, turquoise bird, known as the “red-cheeked cordon-bleu,” is given by this name due to the intense red color of the male’s cheeks. The females have a slightly lighter plumage, and this is how they can be easily told apart. These birds are only found in the east and center of Africa, including countries like Somalia, Mauritania, and Angola.
2. Rufous-bellied Kookaburra
Also known as the Gaudichaud’s kookaburra, this small bird of very particular colors can only be found in New Guinea, deep within the country’s rainforest. Unlike other species of the kookaburra, which prefer open spaces, these birds prefer to stay deep in the jungle.
They feed mainly on insects and do not usually live in groups. These bird specie live alone or in pairs. These birds are often seen in areas with abundant perches in the jungle, a very strategic place from where they can easily monitor the environment to detect their prey.
3. Long-tailed Mountain Lady
The long-tailed mountain lady can only be found in the skies of Taiwan, where it is endemic. This bird has a very particular shade of blue feathers covering its body. The most distinct characteristic of this bird is its red legs and beak, which makes it very easy to identify. The long-tailed mountain lady tail’ is longer than that of a common magpie.
For those of you who believe in true love, it is worth mentioning that the long-tailed mountain lady is a monogamous bird since it remains with the same partner throughout its life.
4. Himalayan Monal
Impeyan Monal is the other name for the Himalayan Monal. In Nepal, they are considered as the countries national bird and goes by the name “danphe”. The Himalayan Monal comes from the forests of the Himalayas, where its name originates.
5. Eurasian Blue Tit
Europe and the Middle East are popular locations to find the Eurasian Blue Tit. There is also a variety of this birds’ subspecie that are roaming around Spain. The male specie of this little fellow has a brighter color on the tops of their heads, which is a little more dimmed in females.
Kagu is a grayish bird which comes from New Caledonia and can be easily recognized by the length of its crest. It has a sort of nasal horn that no other bird in the world found so far seems to have. It spends most of its time on the ground, instead of flying because despite having large wings, it is actually not able to fly. This bird measures about 55 cm. It is but unfortunate that this bird has become a threatened species over time.
7. Philippine Eagle
It is a bird of prey, and it’s one of the largest tropical eagles in the world. It is the state bird of the Philippines. Also known as the monkey-eating eagle, this tropical bird feeds on species like monkeys, snakes, and other large birds, like hornbills. The female eagles are bigger than males. Unfortunately, the female species are listed as critically endangered.
8. Scarlet Ibis
The Scarlet Ibis’ shape is similar to that of a pelican, except that it has shorter legs and a darker shade of orange feathers. The Scarlet Ibis is the national bird of Trinidad and Tobago. In fact, you can find the image of the bird on the coat of arms belonging to Trinidad and Tobago. As it grows older, the color of its red plumage becomes more intense.
9. Blue-footed Booby
Surprise! The Blue-footed Booby is back. As mentioned before, blue-footed boobies are mostly found between Peru and the Gulf of California. These cute blue-footed birds can grow to be up 35 inches in height, so you must be careful if you want to approach them. The color of their legs comes from the carotenoids present in their diet.
10. Helmeted Hornbill
The Helmeted Hornbill roams around the regions of Indonesia and Malaysia, and it is sedentary. According to local mythology, this strange-looking bird is the guardian of the river that divides the world of the living and the underworld. It is not puzzling that locals believe this myth since the Helmeted Hornbill is quite a large bird, with black feathers and a hoof that goes from its crest to its beak.
The male specie of this bird use its beak as a defense mechanism, when fighting other birds, to protect their territory. Their hoof is made of ivory, which is highly valued in craftsmanship. This is the main reason why these birds are critically endangered today.
11. Coquerel’s Coua
The distinct feature of a Coquerel’s Coua is its red eyes and red chest. When stared, it looks like it is wearing a very bright blue mask that covers its face. This bird specie was discovered by entomologist Charles Coquerel, while he was collecting insects on the island of Madagascar — which is why it bears his name. Other species like the Coquerel’s sifaka and the Coquerel’s giant mouse lemur were also discovered by the same man. All of which are endemic to the Island of Madagascar.
12. Amazonian Royal Flycatcher
The Amazonian royal flycatcher, as its name suggests, is found in the different regions of South America, mainly in and around the Amazon rainforest. It measures between 5.9 and 6.9 inches. It bears this name because it feeds on flies and other flying insects and has a crown of feathers.
13. Southern Carmine Bee-eater
Found in southern African countries, this small bird digs tunnels to build its nest where it lays 2 to 5 eggs. The Southern Carmine Bee-eater is a very sociable specie, which migrates in flocks from the north to south of the continent. It feeds on flying insects like bees and other species that can easily be captured looking for pollen in the bushes.
14. Marabou Stork
The Marabou Stork is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It breeds in Africa south of the Sahara, in both wet and arid habitats, often near human habitation, especially landfill sites.
15. Tufted Coquette
If you think this is not usual because it’s just a normal hummingbird, then let us stop you from there. The Tufted Coquette is indeed a type of hummingbird. But unlike its predecessors, this bird species is more colorful compared to others. It is mostly found in the northern zone of South America in countries like Brazil or Guyana. The male Tufted Coquette have a reddish-brown crest, while the females lack the crest and plumes the males are known for.
16. Temminck’s Tragopan
With a body shape similar to that of a rooster, this peculiar bird can be found in the mountains of Northeast India and Central China. It mainly feeds on berries, grass, and plants. Adult males are pretty colorful thanks to their bare blue facial skin and red-and-orange, white-spotted plumage.
17. Schalow’s Turaco
In southern Africa, we can find this green bird with red eyes. It weighs just over half a pound and has a length of 15 to 17 inches. It is easily distinguishable thanks to its greenish plumage with its blue-tipped wings and tail. That is, of course, besides its beautiful plume with black and white tips, and eyes that seem to have been outlined in white. It feeds mainly on fruit. Don’t you think this bird actually fresh from the salon?
18. Paradise Tanager
Also living across many different countries in South America, is this colorful bird with a turquoise chest, yellow back, and black eyes. Don’t be fooled by its scientific name, “Tangara chilensis” this bird does not live in Chile. The Paradise Tanager roams in the skies of Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, and the Guianas.
The Shoebill is actually a member of the species of a pelican. But unlike its siblings, it does not fly around the sea in search for fishes and other small sea creatures for eating. This bird species pelican is known for its beak shape, which resembles that of a shoe (hence the name).
It has a brownish plumage in a very peculiar shade at birth, which turns gray with age — sort of like humans if you think about it. 😉 The Shoebill lives in Central Africa, but it is now part of the list of threatened species. Adult birds of this species have been heard uttering a sort of “moo” sound, like a cow.
The kakapo belongs to a family of parrots that live in New Zealand. It’s a nocturnal bird and although it cannot fly, it has a highly developed sense of smell. A curious fact about this species is its scent, which is described as musty-sweet.
Unfortunately, this characteristic makes them easy prey for larger animals. Other than that, it’s possibly one of the world’s longest-living birds. Some specimens have been known to live up to 80 years. We all wish humans can live that long.
So, what do you think of our adorable but unique little birdies. We do hope that you were able to appreciate their existence and also be one of the few who will continue to campaign and protect their existence to prevent their extinction.
Should you want to share your thoughts, feel free to share it with us in the comments section. 😉