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The largest and heaviest birds – Top 10

The largest and heaviest birds – Top 10

The following list contains the heaviest living birds. Most of them are flightless. Flightless birds comprise less than 2% of all living bird species. On the list are four flying species, the Dalmatian pelican, Great bustard, Kori bustard and Trumpeter swan.


The heaviest living birds – Top 10

13. Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus) – 15 kg (33.1 lb)

  • Length: 160 to 183 cm (5 ft 3 in to 6 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 290–345 cm (9 ft 6 in–11 ft 4 in)
  • Mass: 7.25–15 kg (16.0–33.1 lb)
Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus)
Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus).

12. King penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus) – 20 kg (44 lb)

  • Height: male: 70–100 cm (2 ft 3.56 in–3 ft 3.37 in)
  • Mass: male: 11 to 16 kg (24 to 35 lb); max 20 kg (44 lb)
King penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus)
King penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus).

11. Great bustard (Otis tarda) – 21 kg (46 lb)

  • Height:
    • male: 90–105 cm (2 ft 11 in–3 ft 5 in)
    • female: 75 to 85 cm (2 ft 6 in to 2 ft 9 in)
  • Length:
    • male: 115 cm (3 ft 9 in)
    • female: 90 cm (2 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan:
    • male: 2.1–2.7 m (6 ft 11 in–8 ft 10 in)
    • female: 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
  • Mass:
    • male: 5.8 to 18 kg (13 to 40 lb)
    • max 21 kg (46 lb)
Great bustard (Otis tarda)
Great bustard (Otis tarda).

10. Trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator) – 23 kg (51 lb)

  • Length:
    • male: 138–180 cm (4 ft 6 in–5 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan:
    • male: 1.85 to 3.1 m (6 ft 1 in to 10 ft 2 in)
  • Mass:
    • male: 7–13.6 kg (15–30 lb); max 23 kg (51 lb)
Trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator)
Trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator).

9. Kori bustard (Ardeotis kori) – 23 kg (51 lb)

  • Height:
    • male: 71–120 cm (2 ft 4 in–3 ft 11 in)
    • female: 60 cm (2 ft 0 in)
  • Length:
    • male: 120 to 150 cm (3 ft 11 in to 4 ft 11 in)
    • female: 80 to 120 cm (2 ft 7 in to 3 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan:
    • male: 2.3 to 2.75 m (7 ft 7 in to 9 ft 0 in)
    • 177 to 220 cm (5 ft 10 in to 7 ft 3 in)
  • Mass:
    • male: 7 and 18 kg (15 and 40 lb); max 23 kg (51 lb)
    • female: 3 to 7 kg (6.6 to 15.4 lb)
Kori bustard (Ardeotis kori)
Kori bustard (Ardeotis kori).

8. Darwin’s rhea (Rhea pennata) – 28.6 kg (63 lb)

  • Height:
    • male: 90 to 100 cm (35–39 in)
  • Length:
    • male: 92 to 100 cm (36–39 in)
  • Mass:
    • male: 15 to 28.6 kg (33–63 lb)
Darwin's rhea (Rhea pennata)
Darwin’s rhea (Rhea pennata).

7. Dwarf cassowary (Casuarius bennetti) – 34 kg (75 lb)

  • Height to the top of the head: 105 cm (3.4 ft)
  • Height at shoulders:
    • male: 80 cm (2 ft 7.5 in)
  • Length:
    • male: 99 and 150 cm (3.25 and 4.92 ft)
  • Mass:
    • male: 17.6 and 26 kg (39 and 57 lb), max 34 kg (75 lb)
Dwarf cassowary (Casuarius bennetti)
Dwarf cassowary (Casuarius bennetti).

6. Greater rhea (Rhea americana) – 40 kg (88 lb)

  • Height to the top of the head: male: 150 cm (4.9 ft). max 183 cm (6.0 ft)
  • Length:
    • male: 127 to 140 cm (50 to 55 in), max 150 cm (59 in)
  • Mass:
    • male: 20–27 kg (44–60 lb), max 40 kg (88 lb)
Greater rhea (Rhea americana)
Greater rhea (Rhea americana).

5. Emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) – 45.4 kg (100 lb)

  • Height to the top of the head:
    • male: 110–130 cm (43–51 in)
  • Mass: 22.7 to 45.4 kg (50 to 100 lb)
Emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri)
Emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri).

4. Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) – 70 kg (150 lb)

  • Height to the top of the head:
    • male: 139 to 164 cm (55 to 65 in), max 190 cm (6.2 ft)
  • Height at shoulders: 100 to 130 cm (3.3–4.3 ft)
  • Mass: 18 – 60 kg (40 to 132 lb), max 70 kg (150 lb)
  • Females are usually larger than males
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae).

3. Northern cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus) – 75 kg (170 lb)

  • Height to the top of the head: 150–180 cm (4.9–5.9 ft)
  • Length: 149 cm (4.89 ft)
  • Mass:
    • male: 30 to 37 kg (66 to 82 lb)
    • female: 58 kg (128 lb), max 75 kg (170 lb)
Northern cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus)
Northern cassowary (Casuarius unappendiculatus).

2. Southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius) – 85 kg (187 lb)

  • Height to the top of the head: 150 – 180 cm (4.9–5.9 ft); max 190 cm (75 in)
  • Length: 127 to 170 cm (50–67 in)
  • Mass:
    • male: 29 to 34 kg (64–75 lb)
    • female:  58.5 kg (129 lb), max 85 kg (187 lb)
Southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius)
Southern cassowary (Casuarius casuarius).

1. Common ostrich (Struthio camelus) – 156.8 kg (346 lb) – the largest and heaviest living bird

  • Height to the top of the head:
    • male: 210 to 280 cm (6 ft 11 in to 9 ft 2 in)
    • female: 1.7 to 2.0 m (5 ft 7 in to 6 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 2 m (6 ft 7 in)
  • Mass: 63 to 145 kilograms (139–320 lb)
    • males average: 115 kg (254 lb) max 156.8 kg (346 lb)
    • females average: 100 kg (220 lb)
Common ostrich (Struthio camelus)
Common ostrich (Struthio camelus) – the largest and heaviest living bird.

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