Birds are feathered, winged, egg-laying, vertebrate animals with beaks. They are said to have approximately 10,000 species all around the world. The Nature has given us such a large number of beautiful birds that this list of only ten appears insufficient. However, we have tried our best to compile a list of such beautiful birds which you must see at least once in your life and which will leave you in awe. It is important to mention here that we will be discussing male species mainly. The reason being that in order to attract their female mates, the male species is contrastingly colored which includes not only more bright colors but also distinct magnificent features (such as long tails or crowns). We will discuss not only their appearance but also their relationship with humans and their conservation status. Historically, humans have had a varied relationship with birds; they hunt birds, take them as pets, or make them a part of their culture through art, poetry, and symbolism. Now comes the list of top 10 most beautiful birds in the world.
10. Scarlet Macaw
Macaws are the largest parrots in the World. Scarlet Macaws are vividly colored beautiful birds. They are almost 33 inches long with red plumage covering their bodies, adorned with blue and yellow feathers and long tails. They have strong and hooked beaks, suitable for cracking hard nuts. Their eyes are surrounded by a patch of white. Do not confuse them with the red and green macaws. The Scarlet Macaws can be found in southern Mexico, Central and South America and the rain forests in Amazon. They can make a variety of loud sounds to call in their groups and if a human speaks to them, they can make similar sounding noises. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified this specie as ‘Least Concern’ because they are found in large numbers in their original range (South America). However, they are vulnerable now due to destruction of rainforests and illegal pet trade where they are often smuggled.
9. Rainbow Lorikeet
Rainbow Lorikeet is a species of Australian parrots with not only a very distinct appearance but also an unmistakable voice. These brightly colored birds are certain to attract your attention. They are medium sized (25-30 centimeters) with a blue head, greenish nuchal collar, red-orange chest, blue belly and green wings. They have a reddish-orange beak. Hence, you will find at least five rainbow colors on them! They usually travel together and since they are found commonly in Australia, they are classified as ‘Least Concern’ by the IUCN. Interestingly, many fruit orchard owners as well as the New Zealand’s Department of Conservation have declared the Rainbow Lorikeet as pests. They not only fly in groups and attack the fruits but also create screeching noises.
8. Gurney’s Pitta
Gurney’s Pitta is a medium sized bird found in Thailand and Myanmar. It is considered to be a precious species due to its conservation status. It has a blue crown with rest of the head as black, yellow neck, black and yellow underpants, dark brown upper-side and blue tinged tail. Its diet consists of worms, insects, and slugs. As a result of the development of palm oil plantations, Gurney’s Pitta underwent a rapid population decrease. Due to this reason, they are classified as ‘Endangered’ species by the IUCN. After 1952, they were considered to be extinct but in 1986, they were re-discovered. Gurney’s Pitta has been voted as The Most Wanted Bird in Thailand by the bird-watchers.
7. Northern Cardinal
Northern Cardinal is a North American medium sized (about 21 centimeters) song bird. The male Northern Cardinal is covered in an attractive red all over with a black mask around a reddish bill. These birds have short bills and a prominent crest on their heads. They not only look stylish but are also pleasant to hear since they are capable of whistling sweet melodies. The male Northern Cardinals are said to be very courteous with their custom of feeding their females beak to beak. They can be attracted to common bird feeders. You can also find them in parks, perched on tree branches or low shrubs.
6. Greater Bird of Paradise
The Greater Birds of Paradise are found in New Guinea and Aru Islands of Indonesia. They are large birds of about 43 centimeters (excluding the twin tail wires). The male has a green face which seems to change color with a different angle of light, yellow and silver head, and bluish beak. It has a maroon plumage and beautiful yellow feathers touched with white on the edges. Their diet consists of fruits, seeds, and insects. It is a species widely found in its original range and therefore, is ranked as ‘Least Concern’ by IUCN. They acquired their name through a misconception where they were considered to be visitors from paradise since their trade-skins were sent without feet to Europe.
Peacock is also known as the Indian Peafowl. It is a large and brightly colored bird, native to South Asia. Peacock’s diet includes plants, insects, and small animals. The male bird has a blue body, a crown and a beautiful display of wire like feathers which can spread like a fan and have colorful (blue, orange, gold) eyespot patterns on them. The male peacocks use this display to court their females. They are quite large nevertheless they can fly to nearest tree branches (thus, they are the largest birds to fly). Their bodies can measure up to 35-50 inches and the tail can go up to 5 feet. They can be recognized by their distinct noises. A Peacock is the national bird of India and it is celebrated not only there but also in Greek mythology. They have been adored by humans and considered exotic throughout the history.
4. Golden Pheasant
The Golden Pheasant is also known as the Chinese Pheasant. It is native to the forests of Western China. The male bird is about 90-105 centimeters long where two-thirds of its body comprises of its tail. Its plumage looks exotic with a range of colors making it a favorite for domestic bird buyers, especially those who want ornamental birds. It has a golden crest and red body. It has an orange cape, green/blue back, and a fan like pattern of orange and black on the sides of its face. Although the Golden Pheasants can fly but they are ungainly at it so they like to stay on the ground. They are ranked as the ‘Least Concern’ by the IUCN.
3. Atlantic Puffin
Atlantic Puffins are adorable black and white sea birds with a colorful (red, yellow, blue) bill. They have a stocky built with orange legs. Their cheeks and underside is white while the top of their heads and the back is black. They spend most of their time in the sea waters but come to the land during summers for breeding. Their bill becomes dull colored and grayish during winters but brightly colored during summers; an indicator to their mates that they are ready for breeding. Their diet includes small fish. They measure around 10 inches. They used to be hunted by men but now are protected through legislation in most of the countries. Their status is ‘Least Concern’ by the IUCN. The Atlantic Puffins have been declared as the provincial bird of the Newfoundland and Labrador.
2. Scarlet Tanager
Male Scarlet Tanagers are medium sized, stunningly beautiful American song birds. They are covered with a bright red plumage with black feathers and tail and a pale beak. They also sing beautifully, described as robin like but raspy. They can be found in the canopies of North American forests-a fact which makes them hard to spot but when they are visible, they are unmistakable due to their color. Their diet includes fruits and insects. Their status is ‘Least Concern’ by the IUCN.
1. American Goldfinch
The American Goldfinch is a North American bird which is brightly colored yellow during the summers. These birds have a black forehead, black and white feathers, and a pinkish beak. This handsome bird measures up to 11-14 centimeters, and is strictly vegetarian. It can be found in weedy fields and also residential areas. These birds are considered to be active birds that can also be attracted to bird feeders. They are commonly found in their range, hence, are ranked as ‘Least Concern’ by the IUCN. This list makes American Goldfinch the most beautiful bird in the world.