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Top 9 Flying Birds With The Largest Wingspan In The World

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  • The bird with the largest wingspan is the wandering albatross. The maximum officially recorded wingspan is 12.1 feet. But there are unconfirmed claims that a wandering albatross may have a wingspan of 17 feet 5 inches.
  • The second largest bird in the world is the Great White Pelican with its 12-foot wingspan. Males can weigh up to 33 pounds.
  • The southern royal albatross has the third largest bird in the world, with a 12-foot wingspan, but is smaller than the great white pelican.

There are more than 10,000 species of birds in the world. Some, like the hornet hummingbird, are very small. Others, like the common ostrich, cannot fly. What is the largest bird in the world? If you consider birds that can fly, these are the birds with the largest wingspan in the world.

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The stork has a wingspan of up to 13 feet.


Stork storks, sometimes called funeral birds, live in both wet and dry regions south of the Sahara Desert. The bird, which usually lives near landfills, can weigh up to 17 pounds. This black bird looks like it's wearing white underpants, especially from the back.

There are a few reports of birds with wingspans of up to 13 feet. These birds reach sexual maturity at about four years of age and mate for life. They are scavengers and often live near human settlements.

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In captivity, these storks can live up to 20 years, but their lifespan in the wild is unknown. Stork storks have hollow leg bones and toe bones. Therefore, this bone structure is essential for flight. Also, the pouch in their throat is not used to store food like other birds. Their large throat pouch is used to attract a mate.

Northern royal albatrosses do not mate until they are eight years old.
Northern royal albatrosses do not mate until they are eight years old.

©iStock.com/AGAMI Stock

Also known as the toroa, the Northern Royal Albatross has a 10-foot wingspan. This seabird is slightly smaller than its southern cousin and can be recognized by its wings, which are mostly black on the upper surface.

This endangered bird lives in New Zealand's Chatham Islands, Taiaroa Head and South Island. While there are still reasons for concern, the numbers of these birds are steadily increasing.

The South Island of New Zealand is home to the northern royal albatross.


This is thanks in large part to conservation efforts that make nesting easier and safer. They have a sprinkler system installed at their favorite Taiaroa Head nesting site to prevent heat sensitivity on hot days. They also include handy cotton balls soaked in peppermint essence (by conscientious workers) in the nest to mask the smell of the albatross eggs, to prevent fly attacks.

The bird weighs about 16 pounds and does not mate until it is eight years old. That said, it has a relatively long life span of up to 40 years. It feeds on dead or dying fish near the surface.

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These birds perform elaborate mating rituals both in the water and in the air. They build large nests on shorelines using plant material. Both males and females help incubating eggs and raising young.

Andean condors can live to be 50 years old.
Andean condors can live to be 50 years old.

©Gus Martinie/Shutterstock.com

Andean condors live in the Andes. It is the national symbol of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. The bird, which weighs about 29 pounds, is listed as vulnerable. Once the bird is tethered in the air, it rarely flaps its wings and instead soars through the air. This whitish blackbird can live to be 50 years old. It reaches sexual maturity at about six years of age and mates for life.

This carrion bird is the only bird that exhibits sexual dimorphism. The male has a large red comb on top of his head. They don't have a syrinx, so they can't make sounds. You may hear them clucking or hissing as they feed near your boat.

Australian albatrosses only lay eggs every two years.
Australian albatrosses only lay eggs every two years.

© Imogen Warren/Shutterstock.com

The Australian albatross is one of the birds with the largest wingspan and is an endangered bird in the South Pacific. While you can see them in many places, they all return to New Zealand's Auckland Islands, Antipodes Islands and Campbell Island to breed. The bird weighed 19 lbs. It has an 11-foot wingspan.

The bird lays eggs every two years, each time returning to the place where it was born to lay its eggs. The birds don't become independent until they are about 250 days old, and they don't become sexually mature until they are 7 years old. Males and females share the responsibility of incubating eggs and raising young.

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Tristan albatrosses do not mature until they are 10 years old.
Tristan albatross forms lifelong bond with mate

©Agami Photo Agency/Shutterstock.com website

The Tristan albatross lives in the South Atlantic. Its 11-foot wingspan helps it forage in many areas. It breeds almost exclusively on Gough Island. Females forage on the eastern side of the island, where you can see them all the way to South Africa, while males forage on the western side of the island, where you can see them all the way to South America.

These critically endangered birds breed only every other year, and they mate for life. Adult birds return to the island in November. Females lay their eggs in open wasteland, where there is plenty of room to soar when taking off. Once hatched, the chicks do not leave the nesting area until November. The bird does not become sexually mature until it is 10 years old.

<img loading="lazy" src="https://a-z-animals.com/media/2021/05/Dalmatian-Pelican-1024×535.jpg" alt="The
Dalmatian pelicans are known for their disheveled appearance

© Ondrej Prosicky/Shutterstock.com

Dalmatian pelicans are native to Mongolia, but most live in Russia. You can also find this species in freshwater lakes and wet habitats near Mediterranean coastlines. With a 12-foot wingspan, this bird is the largest member of the pelican family. It can weigh up to 33 lbs. Most of this pelican's diet is fish.

This endangered species has a disheveled off-white appearance. It has one of the largest beaks in the pelican family. The beak is dull yellow most of the year, but turns bright orange during mating season. It flies in flocks, throwing its neck back like a heron.

Southern royal albatrosses lay only one or two eggs per year.
Southern royal albatrosses may choose life mates, although some pairs do break up

© Andre Anita/Shutterstock.com

With a wingspan of 12 feet, the Southern Royal Albatross is one of the largest flying birds. It lives primarily in South American waters, but most return to sub-Antarctic Campbell Island to spawn. To move from South America to the Campbell Islands, they circled the globe. They feed on fish caught from the surface or slightly below the surface.

Southern royal albatrosses usually reproduce for life, but some have divided. The female lays one or two eggs in November, which hatch in January. Males and females take turns caring for the young until November of the following year.

What distinguishes pelicans from other birds is that all 4 of their toes are webbed!
The great white pelican is a social bird with a wingspan of up to 12 feet


With a massive 12-foot wingspan, the Great White Pelican comes in second on this list of birds with the largest wingspans in the world. The bird lives in swamps and shallow lakes from southeastern Europe to Asia and Africa. Males can weigh up to 33 pounds, while females can weigh up to 20 pounds. Breeding occurs mainly in South Africa, but also in Russia, Turkey and northern Greece.

The bird is a very social animal, feeding in groups of six to eight. The birds would form a circle around a school of fish and dip their beaks in unison. Then, when they raise their heads, the pouch in their mouth squeezes out water, allowing them to take a delicious bite of fish. However, their diet is not limited to marine life. They can also be foragers, often eating the chicks of other birds.

The world is full of amazing birds with large wingspans. Learn about them and get involved in protecting their habitat.

A beautiful wandering albatross soars off the coast of New Zealand
Wandering albatrosses have an average wingspan of 10 feet

©Kerry Hargrove/Shutterstock.com

Introducing the bird with the largest wingspan in the world. Wandering albatrosses (maximum verified wingspan 3.7 m/12.1 ft) are on average a few inches smaller than great white pelicans (maximum wingspan 3.6 m/11.8 ft).

Wandering albatrosses live mainly on the wings of the world's southern seas. As one of the largest living birds, it has been the subject of numerous studies. So the researchers compiled an extensive list of facts about the species. While the average wing span of a wandering albatross is about 10 feet from wingtip to wingtip, unconfirmed reports report measurements as high as 17 feet, 5 inches.

These majestic birds can soar for hours without flapping their wings, they simply stop flying to feed and reproduce. They travel a staggering 75,000 miles per year, which is almost equivalent to making two complete trips around the entire planet.

The bird with the largest wingspan

rank bird span
#1 wandering albatross 12.1 feet
#2 great white pelican 12 feet
#3 southern royal albatross 12 feet
#4 dalmatian pelican 12 feet
#5 Tristan Albatross 11 feet
#6 australian albatross 11 feet
#7 andean condor 11 feet
#8 northern royal albatross 10 feet
#9 stork stork 10 feet

What animal eats birds?

Birds are important components of many different ecosystems and are prey for a variety of predators. In this article, we've introduced the large birds with enormous wingspans, let's dig in and discuss the animals that feed these mammals.

The following are animals that prey on birds:

  • Raptors : or other birds of prey known to cannibalize other birds. They often hunt together and are known for their hunting prowess.
  • Snakes : Many species of snakes eat birds, especially the smaller ones. Snakes use their powerful jaws to swallow birds whole, and some species have developed unique hunting strategies to capture their prey.
  • Cats : Domestic cats are one of the most common predators of birds, especially in urban areas.
  • Fox : Foxes are opportunistic hunters and will eat a variety of prey, including birds.
  • Alligators : Alligators have been known to eat birds, especially those near water.


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