TOP 5 BIRDS WITH THE LONGEST WINGSPAN

For us human beings even the common raven seems quite big at times especially when they glide wuite close to people. An average raven weighs only slightly more than a kilogram and with a wingspan of 1.4m. Imagine if the same bird were to have to twice the length as part of their span. Do not panic. There is no raven of that size but there are other birds that are. Here is a list of the top 6 six birds with the longest span. While some strike fear by their looks there are some beautiful birds in the list too

Wandering Albatross

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The wandering albatross is the largest of all the greater albatrosses and has a wingspan of more than 3 meters with the largest ones around 3.7 mts. You heard it right. Thats more than 12ft in length and makes the wandering albatross the bird with the longest wingspan in the world. Compare that with the cute but smallest bird in the world, the bee hummingbird, which measures just 2.2 inches in length. Its amazing to find such a difference. This huge wingspan of the wandering albatross makes it an amazing flight sea bird. The wandering albatross spends much of its life in flight landing only to just breed and feed. The albatross covers great distance with some individuals known to circumvigate the southern sea thrice in a year which is covering approximately covering more than 75000 miles in 1 year. The albatross breeds every other year often forming huge colonies in remote islands in South Georgia islands and New Zealand. They are closely related to Tristan and Antipodean albatross, two other species of which the wandering albatross were initially thought to be part of. Even they would make it to this list in the top but we will not discuss them in detail and move on to other birds.

Great White Pelican

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The great Wandering pelican is next in our list and we are quite familiar with the bird through movies and funny youtube videos of them trying to attack people. The great white pelican is known to have a wingspan of 3.5 meters. We might have not noticed this considering our attention would have been on their long beak with the leather-like pouch underneath the beak. The great white pelican has a wide habitat that ranges from Africa to Eurasia and their adaptation to varied habitats has helped them in their survival better with them being in the least concerned status of the IUCN Red list of endangered species. The pelican is highly social bird often forming huge flocks. They mainly feed on fish and their webbed feet helps then propelling and take off from water. This makes the pelican a very successful aquatic bird inspite of being heavy.

Andean Condor

Widely considered by many to be the largest of all birds, the Andean condor has a wingspan of 3.3m. While it may have smaller wingspan than the albatross or the pelican, the condor still is considered the biggest due to its weight with the males in the species reaching upto 15 kilograms. This makes the Andean condor the largest flight bird in land. The bird as the name suggests lives in the Andes where the birds soar at extreme heights. They are often known to breed and lay eggs on inaccessible rocks at an average height of 5000 meters from sea level. They are scavengers and feed mainly on dead meat of huge animals like boar or llamas. Another member of the vulture family, and a mountain dweller like the Andean Condor, the Himalyan vulture also makes the list with a wingspan of 3.1 meters.

Marabou Stork

The Marabou stork is the largest member of the stork family with an average wingspan of 3.2 meters. The Marabou stork is found in the lands south of the Saharan desert and is also known as the undertaker bird because of the way it looks when viewed from behind. The Maribou Stork is also a scavenger and that explains the reason behind the bald head as it is easier to clean and feeding of a big carcass. The Maribou also feeds on live food especially during the mating season during which their food is primarily frogs and insects. They occasionally feed on other birds like flamingo too. Unlike the flamingo which is beautiful, the maribou may be on the other end of spectrum but are effective survivors with average lifespan of 25 years in the wild.

Trumpeter Swan

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The beautiful and elegant Trumpeter Swan completes the list with an average wingspan of 3.1 meters. The trumpeter swan is a native of America and exists throughout the Northern parts of the continent. The trumpeter swan is quite beautiful but heavy and hence needs a large wingspan to lift its weight and fly. They like the other swan species mate for life and both the male and female are involved in raising the young. Infact they lay one of the largest eggs in the world. At one point in time in the early 20th century the number of trumpeter swan to less than 70 in number. While extinction looked impossible to avert, there was a big colony of trumpeter swan found in Alaska. After years of conservation and careful re introduction in other habitats their numbers have crossed 50,000 in wild to the extent of reaching least concern status from IUCN. Thus the swan completes our list of top 5 birds with the longest wingspan.

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