The 10 Heaviest Flying Birds in the World

These birds have typically developed over the years to have short, useless wings that cannot sustain flight, birds such as the ostrich or emu or rhea.

All over the world, large, flying birds frequent the sky and the sea: vultures, buzzards, swans, and more.

These birds are heavy, between 22-44 pounds.

Despite their weight and constant gravity, these heavy birds find ways to fly.

These are the 11 heaviest flying birds in the world!

1. Great Trap (Otis tarda)

Part of the: Crane family (related to cranes and rails) Weight: 18-44 pounds / 8-20 kilograms Wingspan: Males 7-8 feet / 210-250 centimeters Found in: Europe & across Central Asia

The Great Trap of Europe and Central Asia takes 1st place as the heaviest flying bird in the world.

With a maximum weight of 44 lbs, these birds impress ornithologists who have found that the Great Bustard is capable of migrating over 2,000 miles.

The Great Bustard can be found in habitats such as grasslands or steppes.

During mating season, the male Great Bustard has more vivid colors and thin, long feathers near his beak, suggesting whiskers or a moustache!

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Part of the: Crane family (related to cranes and rails) Weight: 24-42 pounds / 11-19 kilograms Wingspan: Males 7.5-9 feet / 230-275 centimeters Found in: Eastern and Southern Africa

Africa is home to the largest non-flying bird species in the world – the ostrich.

But it can also be home to the largest flying bird species – the Kori Bustard!

Although most consider the Great Bustard of Europe and Central Asia to be the largest flying bird, the size of the Kori Bustard is quite comparable to its distant Eurasian relative.

The Kori Bustard lives in the African grasslands and savannah, feasting on plants, berries, snakes and lizards.

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3. Great Indian Trap (Ardeotis nigriceps)

Part of: Crane family (related to cranes and rails) Weight: 13-40 pounds / 6-18 kilograms Wingspan: Males 7-8 feet / 210-250 centimeters Found: Sparing on the Indian subcontinent

The Great Indian Bustard is the 3rd largest flying bird alive today.

Like its distant bustard relatives, the Great India Bustard makes its home in the grasslands of the Indian subcontinent, eating the diet of an omnivore befitting a bird of its size.

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Part of: Waterfowl sub-family Anatidae (related to ducks and geese) Weight: 21-38 pounds / 9.5-17 kilograms Wingspan: Males 6.6 feet / 203 centimeters Found in: North America

Trumpeter Swans are large migratory waterfowl that spend the summers in Alaska and Western Canada and continue south to spend the winters in the continental US.

The trumpeter swan is the largest waterfowl in North America.

The Trumpeter Swan requires a running start; simultaneously flapping the wings and paddling over the top of the water with the feet to gain enough speed to ensure takeoff.

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5. Mute Swan (Cygnas olor)

Part of: Waterfowl sub-family Anatidae (related to ducks and geese) Weight: 22-31.5 pounds / 10-14.3 kilograms Wingspan: Male 6.8-7.8 feet / 207-237 centimeters Found: throughout the Northern Hemisphere (North America, Europe, Europe, Asia)

Mute Swans can be found in North America, but this regal white bird is not native to America.

Mute Swan’s natural range exists in Europe and Asia.

The male Mute Swan is unique in that during mating season the black knob on its beak becomes larger, making it one of the easiest ways to distinguish between the sexes.

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6. Hopper Swan (Cygnus cygnus)

Part of the: Waterfowl sub-family Anatidae (related to ducks and geese) Weight: 16.3-30.8 pounds / 7.4-14 kilograms Wingspan: 6.6-9 feet / 200-275 centimeters.

The whooper swan is another Eurasian bird that migrates extensively between its summer and winter homes.

Some whooper swans have even made a home in North America, but only on the west coast.

These birds settled in America by flying the distance across the Bering Sea.

Also read: 12 tips on how to keep squirrels out of bird feeders

7. Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus)

Part of the: Cathartidae Family (New World Vultures) Weight: Up to 30 pounds / Up to 13.6 kilograms Wingspan: 10 feet / 305 centimeters Found in: South America, especially in the Andes Mountains

The Andean condor lives high in the Andes mountains.

Part of the reason these birds prefer the high cliffs is that it is easier for their large wings to catch the warm upward air, allowing the bird to fly with minimal effort.

The Andean condor may not have the widest wingspan but its wings have the most surface area.

Part of the: Pelecaniformes family, medium to large seabirds Weight: 23.5-29 pounds / 10.5-13 kilograms Wingspan: 10.1-11.3 feet / 310-345 centimeters Found in: Europe & Asia

The Dalmatian pelican is the largest pelican in the Pelecaniformes family.

These birds have a massive wingspan that can reach 11 feet.

Often these birds work in groups, dropping to the water before dipping their heads below the surface to open fish.

9. Cinereous Vulture or Eurasian Black Vulture (Aegypius monachus)

Part of: Old World Vulture Weight: 15-27.5 pounds / 7-12.5 kilograms Wingspan: 8-10 feet / 250-295 centimeters Found in: Europe & Asia

The Cinereous Vulture is the 2nd largest bird of prey, after only the Andean Condor.

These vultures can be found in Europe and Asia.

Part of: Old World Vulture Weight: 18-26 pounds / 8-12 kilograms Span: 9-10 feet / 270-300cm Found: only within Central Asia, specifically the Himalayan Mountains and the Tibetan Plateau

The Himalayan Vulture is a master of high-altitude flying.

This bird is often seen 5,000 meters above sea level among the high mountains that are home to the highest peaks in the world.

These large birds use their massive wings and pockets of warm air to swim with minimal effort.

Part of the: Diomedeidae family, which consists of large seabirds. Weight: Up to 22 pounds/10 kilograms Wingspan: Males 8.2-11.8 feet/250-360 centimeters.

The Wandering Albatross is a very remarkable bird.

Breeding pairs tend to mate for life, but only hatch a chick every other year.

This incredible bird is last on our list, coming in at 22 pounds.

The truly impressive feature of this bird is its wingspan.

The Wandering Albatross has a massive 11-12 foot wingspan, which helps it glide effortlessly for hours on end!

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