15 Birds With Fancy Feathered Noggins (2024)

Special crests, crowns, and plumes can be found on birds all over the world, and can be used for anything from mating to intimidation.

The national bird of Peru is an interesting animal, known for its frog-like croaking and mud cup nests. The females are a dark orange, but the males display vibrant orange feathers and a disc-like puff of plumage on their heads. They spend most of the day croaking and displaying their unusualhairdos in hopes of attracting a female. As their name suggests, you can find these birds in the cloud mountains of the Andes.

2. Guinea turaco

This fun green bird—which is very social and lives in flocks with as many as 30 members—has a little fluffy crest that puffs up when it's excited. Guinea turaco birds are monogamous: During courtship, the male bird will feed the female, and then they build a nest together. When the eggs are laid, they each take turns watching the nest.

These strange birds look like they're wearing skull caps. The male Wilson's birds of paradise are exceptionally colorful, featuring bright yellow, red, and green plumage; the inside of their mouths is a light yellow, and their tails curl into loose ringlets.The females are much more modest; their feathers are shades of brown, and their tails are plain. Both sexes have a turquoise head, which is, surprisingly, bare skin. When trying to woo a prospective female, males will tidy up an "arena" to perform a dance in.

4. Royal Flycatcher

Royal flycatchers don't seem very interesting at first; their feathers are a drab light brown on top and light yellow on the underbelly. The bird's real beauty is in its crest, which normally lays flatontop of its head. When raised, it makes an impressive fan shape displaying either dark red for males or bright yellow for females. The fan is tipped with black and silver to further emphasize the pop of color.

It's believed the crest flies up when the bird is feeling stressed and threatened, as well as during courtship. They tend to move their heads back and forth in an almost hypnotic fashion, as seen above.

Male King of Saxony birds look like they have some really intense eyebrows. They use these head wires to attract females, by bouncing and inflating their feathers. To lure females in to the display, males will perch above their territory and call out to potential mates. The call sounds less like a bird, and more like a futuristic call alarm:

6. Hoopoe

The Hoopoe lacks the vibrant colors of the other birds on the this list, but its black and white striped feathers are certainly eye-popping. Named for the sound it makes—a low "hoop, hoop"—the Eurasian Hoopoe is the national bird of Israel. The birds are fond of dust baths and sunbathing by spreading out their feathers.The crested avians are very territorial, and make their nests in holes in trees or walls. For added safety, females and nestlings contain a gland that smells like rotting meat to ward off predators and parasites.

Wire-crested thorntails are named for the tiny spike of feathers donned by the males of the species. Considered one of the smallest existing birds, they weigh in at 2.5g. Both sexes display iridescentcoloring, but the males have crests and longer tails.Like most other hummingbirds, these tiny birds lead solitary lives and do not travel in flocks. Males and females will likely mate with several partners, and males have no involvement with nesting or raising the chicks.

8. Golden Pheasant

Golden pheasants are native to China, but can also be found in the United Kingdom. The males look like tiny avian pharaohs with their nemes-like striped feathers. They use their vibrant plumage to attract the brown-and-black-feathered females by fanning out their neck feathers. The game birds have the ability to fly, but aren't very good at it, so most of their lives are spent on the ground.

Males in the Parotiagenushave brightly colored chests and distinctive blue eyes. Also known as the six-plumed bird of paradise, the bird has six plumes that emerge from the back of its head. When attracting a mate, the male will tidy up a space in the forest to set the stage. The bird will clear the floor of any debris, andwill even use tools to scrub the branches. When everything is spick and span, the parotia will perform an impossibly silly dance that involves a lot of shaking and head bobbing.

10. Blue Crowned Pigeon

The blue crowned pigeon isthe second largest type of pigeon in the world, and possibly one of the fanciest. The giant bird can weigh nearly five pounds. Its plumage is a nice toasty purplish blue with a fluffy crest on its head. Females are equally ornate to the males, but the males tend to be a little bit larger.

Black crowned cranes live in thesavannahs of Africa. They are black with pops of white and red, and a gold crown of feathers. The red pouch that hangs below their beak is called agular sac, which is inflatedto allow for loud mating calls. The elegant birds nest in the wetlands and eat small animals and bugs.Due to their disappearing habitat, the cranes are unfortunately considered a vulnerable species.

12. Great Hornbill

The great hornbill is a big bird: they can be as tall as four feet and weigh as much as seven pounds.With a wingspan of five feet, its flapping can be heard from half a mile away.Their impressive beaks feature a fixture known as a casque, which is hollow; the rest of beak is also light, and filled with air pockets. The casqueserves no known purpose, although some suspect it helps when finding a mate. Once courtship is completed, the female will imprison herself in a tree with a small opening for the male to bring her food. She will stay in the tree until her chicks grow feathers.

15 Birds With Fancy Feathered Noggins (1)


These prehistoric-looking birds standat six and a half feet tall, weigh over 100 pounds, and can run over 30 miles per hour; they arethe second largest bird in the world (ostriches being the first).Similar to the hornbill, they havean impressive casque on top of their heads. The giant dinosaur-birds are generally peaceful, but shouldn't be taken lightly: they have claws and powerful kicks, and have been known to kill dogs.

14. Red-whiskered bulbul

These punky birds sport tiny feathered mohawks. Both sexes have these black crests and will raise and lower them during courtship, like miniature curtsies. They originated from India, but have been established in Florida after some domestic bulbuls escapeda Miami aviary in 1960.

The charming hawkheaded parrot comes from theAmazon Basin, but you can find one at your local pet store. Hawk-heads look like normal parrots, but they have colorful feathers that they can raise into a colorful mane to look more threatening.

15 Birds With Fancy Feathered Noggins (2024)


What bird has more than 25000 feathers? ›

In general, the bigger the bird, the higher the number of feathers. Someone counted the feathers on a Tundra Swan and came up with 25,216. At least 80% were on the swan's neck.

What are the names of birds feathers? ›

Feathers are part of the integumentary system found in birds. Important functions of feathers are insulation, flight, protection, and visual communication. There are mainly six types of feathers: Down feathers, contour feathers, filoplumes, bristles, flight feathers, and semiplume feathers.

What bird has a feather on top of its head? ›

The California Quail's head plume, or topknot, looks like a single feather, but it is actually a cluster of six overlapping feathers. As an adaptation to living in arid environments, California Quails can often get by without water, acquiring their moisture from insects and succulent vegetation.

Do all birds have feathers true or false? ›

⇒ True. All birds have feathers. Some birds have highly modified feathers to fit particular functions, such as the fancy feathers on a peaco*ck's tail.

What birds live to be 100? ›

co*ckatoos are perhaps the birds with the longest lifespans, at times reaching 100 years or over. A general rule of thumb is that larger birds live longer lives, in contrast to dogs where the opposite is often the case.

What's the rarest feather? ›

A rare feather from an extinct New Zealand bird set a record at auction after selling for $46,521 NZD ($28,400 USD), the Webb's auction house announced Monday. The huia bird, of the wattlebird family, was native to the North Island and last seen sometime between 1907 and 1920.

What bird has a feather with a heart? ›

Northern Flicker

We don't usually think of woodpeckers as having beautiful feathers, but the plumage of flickers deserves our attention and admiration. The heart-shaped spots on the breast are especially lovely.

What bird has a funny head feather? ›

Victoria Crowned Pigeon

This bird's signature blue lace crest feathers resemble a crown atop its head.

What bird has curly feathers? ›

The Frillback is a breed of pigeon developed over many years of selective breeding. Frillbacks, along with other varieties of domesticated pigeons, are all descendants from the rock pigeon (Columba livia). The breed is known for the frill or curls on the wing shield feathers.

Do birds have teeth? ›

Birds do not have teeth, although they may have ridges on their bills that help them grip food. Birds swallow their food whole, and their gizzard (a muscular part of their stomach) grinds up the food so they can digest it.

Do bird feathers have bugs? ›

Birds can have lice (though you won't catch lice from a bird). But what Mom probably didn't know is that birds have something far creepier lurking in their feathers. It's six legged, leathery, and flat. And it sucks blood.

Is a bat a bird? ›

Bats fly through the air and most of the time you will see them in the evening when it is harder to distinguish the two creatures. People used to believe bats were birds, they just didn't have feathers. But bats and birds fall into two very distinct categories; bats are classified as mammals and birds are aves.

What is the most expensive bird feathers in the world? ›

A rare and highly prized feather from the extinct New Zealand huia bird has sold for NZD$46,521 (US$28,365), making it by far the world's most expensive feather ever sold at auction. The hammer price far exceeded initial estimates of between $2,000-$3,000, and blew the previous record-holder's price out of the water.

How many feathers does a golden eagle have? ›

Eagles have about 7,000 feathers.

How many feathers does Eagles have? ›

Eagle bones are light because they are hollow. Bald eagles have 7,000 feathers. Eagles molt in patches, taking almost half a year to replace feathers, starting with the head and working downward.

How many feathers does a peaco*ck have? ›

Of the 200 or so feathers, about 170 are 'eye' feathers and 30 are 'T' feathers, The 'eyes' are sometimes referred to as ocellations. The length of the feathers varies from a few centimetres to over 1.5 m, The peaco*ck tail feathers are some of the longest and most brilliantly coloured feathers in nature.

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