Top 10 Most Beautiful Flightless Birds in The World

Take a look at the below list of Top 10 Most Beautiful Flightless Birds in The World 2017. When you think about birds, you naturally think about flying. Most of the birds in the world we know and see every day are seen flying through our yards or up our feeders. The thing most humans envy about the bird world is their ability to effortlessly fly from one destination to another. We have even invented machines that have partially fulfilled this wish. There are some birds, however; that have wings but cannot fly. These flightless birds have not had the advantage of inventing a way for themselves to fly and have had to find other ways to compensate for their inability to fly. These are the top 10 most beautiful flightless birds in the world 2017.

List of Top 10 Most Beautiful Flightless Birds in The World 2017

10. Penguin


One of the most popular birds among the flightless birds species is the penguin. They appear in numerous videos and films so are one of the most seen by humans. The penguin is black and white and quite aquatic being found mainly in the Southern Hemisphere, generally in Antarctica. There are some species found in more temperate zones near the equator, the Galapagos penguin. The largest species, the Emperor penguin weighs about 77 pounds and the smallest; the little blue penguin weighs only about 2 pounds. The larger penguins tend to live in colder climates, while the smaller prefer the warmer areas. All species of penguins have wings that are used as flippers for swimming rather than for flying. The penguin feeds mostly on squid, fish, krill, as well as other sea life forms. They spend half their lives on land and the other half in the ocean.

9. Emu



The second largest flightless bird is the Emu, after the Ostrich. It is native to Australia and is a soft-feathered bird with a long neck and legs. These birds can reach over six feet in height. One unique feature with the Emu is their ability to starve themselves for weeks while they search for food. They can travel great distances and when they have to; can travel up to 31 mph. This is their compensation for not being able to fly. They eat mostly insects and plants and do not drink a lot of water unless found in large amounts. Their breeding season occurs in May and June where females can commonly be found fighting for a mate.

8. Rhea

Rhea Top Most Famous Beautiful Flightless Birds in The World 2018

The Rhea looks a lot like the Ostrich in its shape and features. They differ from the Ostrich as they have the unique habit of lowering and opening their wings alternately when they run. While their wings will not allow them to fly, they seem to assist with their running across the land. This flightless bird is native to South America and is mainly a quiet bird, except when they are chicks. The males are also loud during the mating season. There are two species of Rhea, American Rhea, and the Darwin Rhea. Both varieties of these large birds are currently rated as near-threatened in their natural environment.

7. Steamer Duck


The Steamer Duck can be found in the southern part of South America and earned its name due to it flapping its wings while in the water and using its feet at the same time. This unique feature creates an effect much like a paddle steamer. They do not use their wings to fly, but to gain more speed while in the water. If threatened, this duck can become dangerous and is known to kill water birds as much as three times its own size.

6. Takahe

Rhea Top Most Famous Beautiful Flightless Birds in The World 2018

The Takahe is native to New Zealand and belongs to the rail family of birds. One unique thing about the Takahe is that they were labeled extinct around the 1800s, but were rediscovered in 1948. It is the largest living member of its family with an average weight of six pounds. Their standing height is approximately 20 inches and has a stocky build with reduced wings, massive bill, and strong legs. They are an incredibly beautiful bird with the male have mainly purple-blue on its body and greenish on its back and wings. To compliment these colors, they have pink legs. This is a sedentary and flightless bird found mostly in alpine grasslands. When humans take over the swamp areas they prefer, they have moved into farmland and when chased from there into grasslands. This is one of the Top 10 Most Beautiful Flightless Birds in The World 2017.

5. Flightless Cormorant

Flightless Cormorant Top 10 Most Beautiful Flightless Birds in The World 2019

The flightless Cormorant is rarely seen but can be found in the Galapagos Islands. Some call them the ‘Galapagos Cormorant’ because of this. They are the only cormorant that cannot fly as its wings are thick and short. They also do not have waterproof wings so have to dry their wings each time after they dive. Their strong legs and webbed feet allow them to propel through ocean waters as they search for prey. They feed mostly on the sea floor, within 200 meters offshore, on small creatures like the; octopus, eel, and fish. It is the largest of its family weighing approximately eleven pounds but its wings are about one-third the size of a bird that size to fly.

4. Kakapo


The Kakapo is sometimes referred to as the Owl Parrot. It is one of the strangest looking and the only flightless parrot. Its head looks much like an owl, has a nose like a penguin, and it walk resembles a duck. The Kakapo is two feet long and one of the heaviest parrots native to New Zealand and now on the vulnerable list. It has a blotched yellow-green plumage, large gray beak, short legs, and large feet. The wings on this bird are short making it the world’s only flightless parrot. It is also one of the longest-living birds as it has few predators and an abundant food source. As of June 2016, this strange and unique parrot was placed on the critically endangered list due to predators that were introduced by man; rats, ferrets, cats, and stoats.

3. Cassowary

Cassowary Top Most Beautiful Flightless Birds in The World 2017

The Cassowary is the third tallest and second heaviest bird. They are a very shy bird but will get quite aggressive when threatened. These birds have caused fatal injuries when provoked and are better left alone. Their height is approximately six feet and they can weigh up to 60kg. They are native to the tropical forests of New Guinea and northeastern Australia. The Cassowary feeds mostly on fruit but will also eat other plant food, shoots, and grass seeds, as well as fungi, invertebrates, and small vertebrates.

2. Kiwi

Kiwi Top Most Popular Beautiful Flightless Birds in The World 2017

The Kiwi can be found in New Zealand and is about the size of a chicken. They are being placed on the endangered species list due to an invasion of invasive mammalian predators. The Kiwi is a flightless bird and one of the smallest living of this type of bird. There are currently five different species of the Kiwi and all five are in the same vulnerable status. Their greatest threat to survival is the invasion of mammalian predators. The Kiwi is the national symbol of New Zealand.

1. Ostrich

Ostrich Top Famous Beautiful Flightless Birds in The World 2018

The Ostrich is the largest of the flightless birds and is native to Africa. It has, however; been farmed across the world. This flightless bird has been classified as the fastest, largest, and most powerful bird. Its eggs are the largest of any living bird and it is also the largest bird of any species. It doesn’t need wings to fly as it can run as fast as 70km an hour and covers from three to five meters in just one stride. The Ostrich eats mostly plant matter and also some invertebrates. If threatened, the Ostrich will hide by lying flat against the ground or run. If cornered, it will use its powerful legs to kick for its defense.

There are a large variety of flightless birds. Many of them have not gained a lot of attention and some have been highly recognized. You may have heard of some of these top 10 most beautiful flightless birds in the world 2017 and some may be ones you’ve never known existed.