10 of the biggest birds on Earth

10 of the biggest birds on Earth

Some of the biggest birds on Earth can stand taller than any NBA player and spread their wings wider than kings size bed. 

There are almost 10,000 species of birds on Earth and they come in all different shapes and sizes — from the tiny bee hummingbird to the massive ostrich. Here are 10 of the biggest birds to inhabit our planet, including the tallest, heaviest and those whose wings spread the furthest. 

Harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja)

Harpy eagles can be found in the tropical lowlands forests of southeastern Mexico. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Named after a human-bird hybrid in ancient Greek mythology, harpy eagles are some of the biggest birds on Earth. These dark grey birds are among the largest species of eagle on Earth, particularly when comparing their weights. An adult female can weigh up to 20 pounds (9 kilograms) and males grow up to 12 pounds (5.4 kg), according to San Diego Zoo. In comparison, the bald eagle can weigh up to 14 pounds (6 kg), according to the U.S Fish & Wildlife Service. These birds soar across South America, kept aloft by their impressive 6.5 feet (2 meter) wingspan, hunting for prey. When their prey is in sight, such as porcupines, deer and opossums, harpy eagles descend at speeds of 50 miles per hour (80 kilometers per hour) and use their 5 inch (13 centimetre) claws to deliver a fatal blow to their prey, according to the San Diego Zoo. 

Wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans)

A pair of wandering albatross flying over mountains

A pair of albatross flying over snowy mountains in South Georgia Island, Antarctica. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Meet the biggest bird in the world, at least in terms of its wingspan. These sea birds glide over the ocean with a wingspan of up to almost 11 feet (3.35 meters), according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Wings of this size mean that these albatross can spend large amounts of time in the sky — for example — one bird was recorded to have wandered around 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometres) in only 12 days.