23 Birds With The Largest Wingspan [Incl. Pictures!]

birds with the largest wingspan

Birds come in all shapes and sizes. There are tiny birds like hummingbirds and at the other end of the spectrum, there are very large birds that have massive wingspans. These large birds are amazing to watch as they circle in the sky above.

Of all the species, some of the largest birds with massive wingspans belong to the Albatross family.  These are followed closely by pelicans, vultures, swans, cranes and herons. In fact, the bird with the largest wingspan in the world is the wandering albatross. It has a wingspan that measures up to 12 feet.

Let’s compare these birds side by side so that you can see their massive wingspans.

Birds With The Largest Wingspans In The World

Here’s a chart that shows the size of the wingspans of some of the largest birds in the world.

Species Wingspan
Andean Condor 11 feet
Antipodean Albatross 11 feet
Bearded Vulture 10 feet
Black Vulture 10.2 feet
California Condor 10 feet
Dalmatian Pelican 12 feet
Eurasian Black Vulture 10.2 feet
Goliath Heron 7.5 feet
Great White Pelican 11.8 feet
Himalayan Griffon 10.2 feet
Jabiru Stork 9.2 feet
Kori Bustard 9 feet
Marabou Stork 10 feet
Northern Royal Albatross 10 feet
Nubian Vulture 9.2 feet
Southern Royal Albatross 12 feet
Tristan Albatross 11 feet
Trumpeter Swan 10.2 feet
Wandering Albatross 12.1 feet
Wedge Tail Eagle 8.2 feet
White-Tailed Eagle 8.2 feet
Whooper Swan 9 feet
Whooping Crane 7.6 feet

1. Andean Condor

As you would imagine, the Andean condor lives primarily in the Andes mountains. In fact, its the national symbol of Chile, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Colombia. Currently, this large bird is on the vulnerable list. It has a wingspan of up to 11 feet and can weigh up to 29 pounds. Interestingly, this large black bird can live to an age of 50 years.

2. Antipodean Albatross

The antipodean albatross lives in the South Pacific and is endangered. It can have a wingspan of up to 11 feet and can weigh up to 19 pounds. Its breeding grounds include the Auckland Islands, Antipodes Islands and Campbell Island which is off the southern coast of New Zealand.

3. Bearded Vulture

The bearded vulture can be found mainly in southern Europe. It is one of the largest birds of prey in the world. It has a massive wingspan of up to 10 feet. It’s a typical scavenger and feeds mainly on dead animal carcasses. A fascinating habit of this bird is that it will carry a carcass high up into the air and drop onto large rocks so that the bones shatter.

4. Black Vulture

The black vulture is common in South America but can also be found in the southern parts of north America. It can have a wingspan of up to 10.2 feet. Black vultures are highly social birds and will generally fly in flocks. They have a tendency to follow turkey vultures around to assist in finding suitable food sources.

DON’T MISS: Ever wondered why birds fly in a V formation? Click here to find out.

5. California Condor

The California condor is a bizarre-looking bird. It has black feathers that are ruffled around its head and throat. However, it has a completely bald head like most vultures. It has a wingspan of up to 10 feet. This makes it one of the largest birds in North America.

6. Dalmatian Pelican

This unusual-looking pelican is native to Mongolia but spends most of its life in Russia. Some of these pelicans also live along the Mediterranean coastline. As another very large bird, it has a wingspan of up to 12 feet and can weigh up to 33 pounds.

Interestingly, this pelican has a very colorful beak. It’s normally dull yellow but turns bright orange during mating season.

7. Eurasian Black Vulture

This large vulture can be found across Eurasia in isolated pockets. It’s an old world vulture and has a wingspan of up to 10.2 feet. This bird has excellent eyesight and can spot a carcass while high up in the air.

8. Goliath Heron

This large heron is found mostly around South Africa. It has a wingspan of up to 7.5 feet but it stands around 5 feet tall. The goliath heron spends most of its time hunting for large fish in rivers, estuaries, marshes and mangroves. Due to its large size, this bird can look quite cumbersome when in flight.

9. Great White Pelican

The great white pelican has a massive wingspan of up to 12 feet and is truly a delight to see as it flies over the open waters. It mainly lives in shallow lakes and swamps in southeastern Europe, Africa and Asia. A male great white pelican can weigh as much as 33 pounds.

10. Himalayan Griffon

The himalayan griffon is a vulture that feeds mainly on human remains that it finds at Celestial burial grounds in Tibet. It has the head and wings of an eagle with ruffled feathers on the back of the neck that resemble a lion’s mane.

11. Jabiru Stork

The jabiru stork is native to South America. It has a wingspan of up 9.2 feet and stands around 5 feet tall. These storks build incredible nests that are capable of supporting the weight of a grown man.

12. Kori Bustard

The kori bustard is the largest flying bird found in Africa. It has a wingspan of up to 9 feet and can weigh up to 40 pounds. This makes it one of the heaviest flying animals in the world. It mainly lives in semi-arid shrub land, savannas and grasslands.

13. Marabou Stork

Marabou storks are scavengers and are mainly found around the Sahara Desert. These birds typically have a wingspan of around 10 feet but there have been reports of birds having a massive wingspan of up to 13 feet. Being scavengers, they can often be found around landfill areas.

14. Northern Royal Albatross

The northern royal albatross lives mainly in New Zealand. It has a wingspan of up to 10 feet and can weigh up to 16 pounds. Interestingly, these birds have to wait until they’re 8 years old before they are able to mate.

15. Nubian Vulture

The nubian vulture is also commonly called the Lappet-faced vulture or African eared vulture. Its wingspan can reach a length of around 9.2 feet. It’s the largest vulture found in Africa and a very effective scavenger. Its powerful beak can tear into hides and into tendons and other tissue that may be too tough for other scavengers.

16. Southern Royal Albatross

The southern royal albatross is mainly found around South America. However, this massive bird nests in the colder regions of Campbell Island off the southern coast of New Zealand. This bird has a wingspan of up to 12 feet. This is lucky because the bird has a long way to travel each year to nest and raise its young.

17. Tristan Albatross

The tristan albatross is a critically endangered species. It lives mainly in the south Atlantic ocean. It’s wingspan can measure up to 11 feet. It nests on a small island in the middle of the south Atlantic ocean half way between the coast of Argentina and Cape Town in South Africa, called Gough Island.

18. Trumpeter Swan

The trumpeter swan is regarded as the largest waterfowl in the world. Its wingspan can reach up to 10.2 feet in length and the bird can weigh more than 25 pounds. In addition, these birds can be quite aggressive when they’re protecting their young. They’re mainly found in remote wetlands around Canada, Alaska and the northwestern United States.

19. Wandering Albatross

The wandering albatross is one of the largest birds in the world. It has a massive wingspan of up to 12.1 feet. This impressively large bird lives mainly in the southern hemisphere and can often be seen flying low over the ocean where it hunts for fish to eat.

20. Wedge Tail Eagle

The wedge tail eagle can be found all over Australia and parts of Papua New Guinea. It’s an impressive large bird of prey with a wingspan of up to 8.2 feet. It has a distinctive diamond-shaped tail and is a pleasure to see soaring high up on the air currents.

21. White-Tailed Eagle

The white-tailed eagle can be found in different parts of the world. This includes Australia, Japan, Greenland and Iceland. It has a wingspan of up to 8.2 feet. These birds tend to favor coastlines as they prefer to feed on fish.

22. Whooper Swan

The whooper swan is mainly found in Europe and parts of Asia. It has a wingspan of up to 9 feet. It prefers colder regions and can often be found around frozen lakes and rivers.

23. Whooping Crane

The whooping crane is considered the tallest bird in North America. However, it’s fairly rare and can only be found in small area around Florida, Wisconsin and Louisiana. It can have a wingspan of up to 7.6 feet and can stand up to 5 feet tall.

This species almost became extinct back in the 1940s when there were only around 20 birds left. Due to the efforts of conservation biologists, the numbers have risen to around 600 birds.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *