Welcome to part two! Where there are so many birds, but so little time! Embark on a journey with us as we discover the beautiful and ethereal birds around the world. From proud peacocks to terrific toucans, magnificent magpies, and many more. Read on for a curation of some of the most interesting facts about these national birds from countries all around the world. What are you waiting for? Learning, creativity, and adventure await!
The gigantic emu is the national bird of Australia. The emu is the second largest living bird, next to its relative, the ostrich. Emus have soft feathers and are a light brown. Emus can be found in most of mainland Australia, and live both inland and on the coast primarily found in forests and woodlands. This bird is flightless, but quite quick on its legs and when necessary, can sprint almost 30 miles per hour. Fun fact: Imus can grow to be almost six feet in height!
The flamingo is the national bird of the Bahamas. The flamingo is a peculiar looking pale pink or bright pink bird that stands on one leg with the other tucked beneath its body. The flamingo spends most of its day in the water but is quite a skilled flyer. The color of the flamingo is dependent on how healthy it is. The brighter the color, the healthier the flamingo is. Fun fact: flamingos are very social and can live in colonies with other flamingoes up to the thousands1
China Red Crowned Crane
The red crowned crane is the national bird of China. This beautifully unique bird is one of the rarest birds in the world. The red crowned crane is primarily white with a black neck, head, and feather tips and they get their name from a patch of red skin on their head. The red-crowned crane nests in marshes, rivers, and dense wetlands. Fun fact: the red crowned crane has an average life span of thirty years!
India Indian Peafowl
The impressive Indian peafowl is the national bird of India. This incredibly large bird is distinctive in appearance with lavish feathers that vary in iridescent blue and brown colors that span to almost five feet. The male peafowls (also called peacocks) have a more appealing color, while the female peafowls (also called peahens) have a more drab, brownish coloring. The peafowl is among the largest birds that can fly. Fun fact: the elongated, ornamental feathers grow surprisingly on the bird’s back, not its tail. To raise its impressive array of feathers, the peafowl raises their shorter tail feathers!
Ireland Northern Lapwing
The lapwing is the national bird of Northern Ireland. The lapwing is considered to be a wading bird and spends most of its life wading about farmland and wetland habitats. The lapwing has a notable crown of wispy brown feathers and has a dark muddy green color with purple flecks on its back, while it has a beautiful snow-white underbelly. This bird is a dramatic flyer with broad rounded wings that it flaps ceremoniously in flight. Fun fact: this bird is also called the “peewit”, which reflects its distinct call!
Norway White-Throated Dipper
The white-throated dipper is the national bird of Norway. The white-throated dipper is a small creature at only seven inches long. They are round in stature with a short tail. The white-throated dipper has a rich brown-black color that spans from their crown to their back down to their tail. It has a white throat and underbelly. This bird lives next to swift waters, including rivers, streams, and lakes. Fun fact: the dippers received their name from their frequency of “dipping” into the water!
Nigeria Black Crowned Crane
The black crowned crane is the national bird of Nigeria. This bird is exquisitely regal looking with a robust crown of golden feathers. These feathers are particularly interesting in that they are a spiral with white coloring on one side and brown on the other side and end with a black tip. They are primarily brown in color across their body with red and yellow coloring on their wings. They can measure up to 42 inches in length and can have a wingspan up to 78 inches. Fun fact: the black crowned crane is regarded as a symbol of peace!
Denmark Mute Swan
The mute swan is the national bird of Denmark. This waterfowl bird is elegant and distinctive with its solid white feathers, bright orange beak, and bordered with black coloring. The mute swan acquired its name as it is not as vocal as other swans. The mute swan is the second largest waterfowl bird and is one of the heaviest flying birds with some weighing as much as 32 pounds. Fun fact: mute swans are particularly territorial and “family-oriented”!
Myanmar Grey Peacock-Pheasant
The grey peacock-pheasant is the national bird of Myanmar. The grey peacock-pheasant is a very large pheasant and can be up to 29 inches long. This bird has a faint brownish-grey coloring with light green spots, a spiky crest, and pink or yellow skin on its face. These birds live primarily in dense hills, forests, and lowlands and have a diet consisting of seeds, termites, and fruits. Fun fact: these birds are described as being very “shy” and “secretive”!
Nepal Himalayan Monal
The himalayan monal is the national bird of Nepal. The himalayan monal is a fascinating looking bird with the males being far more beautiful and distinctive looking than the females. The male has a striking array of multi-colored feathers ranging from orange to red to chartreuse to aqua to cobalt. Alternatively, the females are rather drab and are plain brown. During breeding season, these birds are exclusive in pairs, but outside of this period of time, these birds live in large coveys. Fun fact: the monal is an excellent digger and uses its long beak to dig up to ten inches into the ground!
New Zealand Kiwi
The kiwi is the national bird of New Zealand. The kiwi is a very interesting bird in appearance. It is extremely fuzzy with furry brown feathers. The kiwi cannot fly, are nocturnal birds, and do not have tails. Kiwis mate for life and are quite protective. They have sharp claws and can strongly and aggressively kick their aggravators. The kiwi can live for between 25 and 50 years. Fun fact: the kiwi chicks are born fully feathered!
Belize Keel-Billed Toucan
The keel-billed toucan is the national bird of Belize. The keel-billed toucan is a striking bird that is both peculiar and mesmerizing. It is a colorful bird with most of the color coming from its bill. Overall the bird is primarily black with a yellow neck and chest. The keel-billed toucan has a bill that makes up almost one-third of its length. These birds spend most of their time in the trees with a diet consisting mostly of fruit. Fun fact: these birds “play ball” and toss fruit into each other’s mouths!
Japan Green Pheasant
The green pheasant is the national bird of Japan. The green pheasant is a bird that varies in appearance from male to female. The males are more colorful with distinctly red faces, whereas the females are primarily a spotted array of brown and black. The green pheasant resides predominantly in woodlands, forest edges, and grasslands. It feeds off of small animals, worms, insects, and plants. Fun fact: it is believed that these birds are “scared” of earthquakes, and will “scream” when provoked by them!
Taiwan Blue Magpie
The blue magpie is the national bird of Taiwan. The blue magpie is a social bird, does not fear humans, and has quite the rambunctious call. Their call is considered to be “chatter” and resembles a “kyak-kyak-kyak” sound. These are medium sized birds with a black chest, neck, and breast. The rest of the bird is blue with wings and tail feathers that have white tips. The blue magpie is an omnivore and feeds off of snakes, rodents, and small insects. Fun fact: they store their “leftover” food in the ground or in trees to be eaten later!
Malaysia Rhinoceros Hornbill
The rhinoceros hornbill is the national bird of Malaysia. This bird is bizarre looking and lives up to its rhinoceros name with a huge orange, red, and white bill that is rather distracting with its curved casque. The rhinoceros hornbill primarily feeds off of fruit but will settle for insects, small reptiles, and rodents. The female hornbills barricade themselves while nesting to protect their chicks and during this time of nesting the male hornbill works particularly hard to collect nourishment for his family. Fun fact: the hornbills can communicate in a type of “morse code” by flapping their wings against tree trunks!
Peru Andean Cock-of-the-Rock
The andean cock-of-the-rock is the national bird of Peru. The male andean cock-of-the-rock is a striking bright orange bird with the female andean cock-of-the-rock being a more subtle burnt orange. Both are quite beautiful. This bird can be found scattered all across the cloud forest of the Andes and primarily eats a diet of fruit. Fun fact: this bird makes quite the sound and is described as making a “tank” noise!
The hoatzin is the national bird of Guyana. The hoatzin is a medium sized bird coming in at 26 inches. It has a long neck, small head, and is composed of a variety of brown, yellow, and cream colors with a blue face and a spiky crown of feathers. The hoatzin is primarily found in marshes and swamps and is considered to be a “folivore”, which means that it feeds off of the leaves of the plants that grow in its habitat. Fun fact: this bird is also called the “stinkbird” which comes from the foul order it omits due to the fermentation of food in its digestive system!