There are more than 10,000 different species of birds with new ones being discovered each year. Although all birds have the same basic traits, some of them are just downright weird looking. In honor of our truly magical Earth, here are 10 of the freakiest looking birds around the world.
1. Superb Bird-of-paradise
This small bird from the rainforests of New Guinea has the strangest courtship display. The male has a large mane-like shield around his head that expands into a giant elliptical plane of plumage. What female isn’t attracted to a glorified neck brace?
2. Sri Lanka Frogmouth
This bird is an amazingly frightening bird that shares an uncanny resemblance to Sesame Street’s Oscar The Grouch. This bird has forward facing eyes for binocular vision and often blends into the background because of its ragged appearance. Frogmouths are nocturnal birds, but who can blame them for wanting to stay in the dark?
3. Roseate Spoonbill
This South American bird looks like the combination of a flamingo and ibis. The pink color of the bird comes from its diet.
4. Resplendent Quetzal
This funny-looking bird is actually the national bird of Guatemala and is featured on the country’s flag. There is a lot of myth surrounding this bird that has a killer ‘fro and really long tail feathers.
5. Magnificent Frigatebird
Like the Resplendent Quetzal, the Magnificent Frigatebird also has a name that sounds like a bad magician. The bird, formerly known as Man O’War (which is much cooler), has a massive scarlet throat pouch that’s inflated during mating season.
6. Greater Sage Grouse
The near-threatened Greater Sage Grouse rocks a regal look with proper tail feathers and a majestic bosom. Males inflate the two sacs on their chest to attract females.
7. Attwater’s Prairie Chicken
Not quite a chicken and not quite a rabbit, the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken has bizarre feather designs, a funny tail and a crown of feathers. This bird has been on the endangered species list since 1967. Hopefully, this species never goes extinct.
8. Tawny Frogmouth
Even though it’s the second frogmouth on this list (the whole thing could be filled with different species of frogmouths), the Tawny Frogmouth looks like an owl that was just scared out of its mind.
9. North Island Brown Kiwi
Although the kiwi is the national symbol of New Zealand, there’s no denying just how freaky looking it is. It looks like an unbalanced ball of fur with a long beak and two legs.
You might think this one is cheating because the Dodo is extinct, but it remains one of the weirdest looking birds ever. It has the body of a chicken and the head of a dinosaur-like creature. With these looks, it’s no wonder the Dodo went extinct.
About the Author: Timothy Martinez Jr. is a freelance writer and contributes to a number of blogs, including the official blog of Backyard Chirper.