Feathers are commonly thought of as a bird’s essential characteristic. However, feathers are not exclusive to birds; many animals show off this characteristic. The following article is a list of 19 animals with feathers. It includes information about these birds’ appearances, behaviors, habitats, and other facts.
The peacock is covered with beautiful iridescent feathers that can be seen in full glory when they stretch or raise their necks and display them to other peacocks during courtship rituals. Like birds use these feathers for flight, the peahen also needs them for mating rituals – to entice an amorous male peacock.
They are great singers too, and their calls can be heard from up to 5km away if the conditions are right (not too much noise pollution). They also have a large crest on their head that they can raise as an aggressive display when they feel threatened.
#2. Turkey vulture
The turkey vulture is a large bird found in North and South America, with a wingspan of about 120cm. The turkey vulture has a bald red head and a featherless neck that are white and wrinkled, with black feathers on the body. The white color might reflect the sunlight better, helping keep the vulture warm.
The turkey vulture is an omnivore that eats meat and plants. It prefers to eat carrion, which includes dead animals. You can tell male and female turkey vultures apart by the color of their heads – male heads are red while females have brown heads with streaks of red.
#3. Common loon
You will see these giant, white birds in freshwater lakes and bays. The face is grey, and the bill is long, black, and hooked. The common loon has long, thin white legs that help it swim great distances underwater.
It can dive more than 130ft underwater and stay submerged for up to 20min. They often dive as deep as 600ft to find fish to find food. When they surface, they call out and make a low moaning sound.
#4. White-faced ibis
The white-faced ibis is found throughout Africa, where it lives in marshy areas. It prefers to stay near reed beds and rushes, where it feeds on insects and crustaceans.
These birds are often seen resting on wetlands such as swamps and ponds or floating in the water fishing for food. They’re also known to be among the largest ibis species.
#5. Northern bald ibis
The northern bald ibis is found in Turkey and parts of Syria and lives in mountain forests with fir trees. It feeds on berries, grasshoppers, beetles, caterpillars, and other larvae.
It is famed for being the baldest of all the ibis species, with a bald head and red face. The northern bald ibis is critically endangered – in fact, it’s one of the most endangered bird species. For example, there were only 22 individuals alive in the wild in 2006, but now there are 66, thanks to conservation efforts.
#6. African fish eagle
When this bird is in flight, you can see its massive wingspan of more than 1.2 meters. It has a white ruff around its neck and yellow feet. The African fish eagle is found in sub-Saharan Africa, where it lives in savanna grasslands, wetlands, and forests. They are very social animals and often hunt together in groups.
They fish using their massive talons while diving into the water, and they also eat other birds and mammals, like chicks that have fallen out of nests or small lambs. The bird also has a distinct call to attract potential mates. Besides, they’re fairly similar to other eagles; they have a huge taloned foot and a strong beak for catching prey.
The rhea is a large bird found in South America, Africa, and Australia. The rhea is one of the largest land birds in the world, with a wingspan up to 2 meters. It can also weigh up to 40kg, making it one of the heaviest flying birds.
Like all rheas, this bird has two toes facing in and one facing out; this helps it walk on uneven terrain more comfortably. It lives in open plains and grasslands, where it eats grass (its favorite food) and other plants. It can also get very aggressive when defending its territory, including attacking humans.
The cassowary has a strong kick to its legs to overpower prey, like lizards and birds. It can even break a human‘s bone with its powerful kick, so be careful when hiking in Australia and seeing this bird.
Aside from being a fierce predator, it’s also a very curious animal and can learn tricks from other animals, like hand-flapping and pulling levers. The cassowary is a flightless bird found in Papua New Guinea, Australia, and parts of New Guinea.
#9. Golden eagle
The golden eagle is one of the largest birds of prey in North America and Eurasia, with a wingspan up to 2.5 meters. It’s found throughout Africa and Western Europe, where it lives in forests and other open areas, such as fields and gardens.
It eats small animals such as lizards, frogs, chickens, and rabbits. The golden eagle can catch prey from a great distance at high speeds using its powerful talons and sharp beak.
#10. Snowy owl
The snowy owl is a large bird found in the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia. It eats small mammals such as voles, lemmings, squirrels, and other birds on the ground.
The snowy owl is one of the most beautiful; it has beautiful white feathers with brown spots on its chest, head, and back. The snowy owl spends most of its day in the trees and is nocturnal.
#11. Great horned owl
The great horned owl is a large bird found in North and South America, Eurasia, and Africa, where it prefers to live in forests. It feeds on small mammals such as mice, rabbits, and birds.
The great horned owl is one of the few predators that can catch skunks without getting sprayed by them! The owl has huge yellow eyes that help it hunt at night, while its ears help it sense prey’s movements. Its feathers are soft like fur to help it fly silently through the woods.
#12. Snowy egret
The snowy egret is a large white bird found in North, Central, and South America, where it prefers to live near freshwater areas such as lakes, swamps, ponds, and slow-moving rivers.
It feeds on small fish such as minnows and other aquatic creatures. The snowy egret has long, thin legs that help it easily walk on the wet ground and catch small fish by standing in shallow water.
#13. Common tern
It’s a migratory bird that moves between continents to follow food supplies. The common tern eats small fish, such as crabs, shrimps, and insects. Its wings are round and wide compared to other terns.
The common tern has long legs that make it take off slowly through the air at first before gaining speed on its second flight.
#14. Bar-winged goose
You can see this amazing bird in Zambia, Africa. It is one of the most colorful birds in the world and one of the smallest geese. It has an amazing orange-red beak, legs, a black belly, and a light grey head.
The bar-winged goose is shy like most other geese – it will stay away from people when possible to avoid being disturbed. Like all geese, it lives in groups or flocks while migrating with others of its kind as protection from predators.
#15. Common snipe
It eats small insects such as bugs and worms. The common snipe has an interesting way of foraging for food – it slowly stalks its food (in contrast to most birds that give chase to their prey) until it’s close enough to grab with its sharp beak.
Its breeding behavior is also interesting – it mostly lays its eggs on the ground but can sometimes lay them in a nest abandoned by another bird.
#16. White-throated sparrow
Its feathers are bright and pretty, with two sides of a white throat and chest. It is one of the smallest birds in North America, with a wingspan of about 5.9 to 7.5 inches. This bird eats mainly insects and often builds a nest on the ground.
You can see this bird throughout North America, but it is most common in the West.
#17. Lesser flamingo
They have pink feathers and long legs and are called flamingos because of their habit of feeding on shrimp that live in salt water – rather than just fresh water.
The lesser flamingo is the smallest and can live up to 40 years. They spend most of their time in groups in the water but will come to land to lay their eggs, build nests, and breed.
#18. Grey-winged trumpeter
When you see a grey-winged trumpeter in the wild, you’ll know they’re extremely large and loud! This bird is found in South America and feeds on various vegetation types.
The males have feathers on their necks decorated with colors and lines. They also have long yellow bills that they use to feed their chicks.
#19. Rufous Hummingbird
Their feathers are one of a kind, with bright colors and green sides. It is among the smallest birds in the world, similar to a hummingbird. It likes to stay out of sight as much as possible, so it usually lives in trees and bushes. A rufous hummingbird’s diet consists entirely of nectar from flowers – they are important pollinators for many plants!
Seeing these birds of prey in their natural habitat is an amazing experience. I saw a snowy owl and some bald eagles while on a trip to Alaska last year. They flew over my head at high speeds, making a massive sound.
Birds are so much more than just pretty faces in the wild; they keep our ecosystem running and play an important role in nature’s balance. They’re also fun to observe and study – there’s so much more to learn about them.