Ranking the most unique birds on earth

Wild nature is a great home for more than 10,000 species of birds. Among them, there are “rare and hard to find” species that have unique characteristics that set them apart from other birds. Let’s review the top 7 unique bird species in the world with the vote of Current Biology Magazine.
 
1. Kagu . Bird
 
The island nation of New Caledonia (1200km north of Australia) is the main habitat of the Kagu bird. Kagu has been identified as the only surviving member of the genus Rhynochetos and the family Rhynochetidae. 
 

A pair of Kagu birds can live faithfully together for a lifetime. Most of the year, males and females feed on their own. But when the breeding season comes, they return to incubate the eggs together.
 
The Kagu bird also appears on stamps and coins in New Caledonia. 
 
The strange point of the Kagu bird is the “tiny nose” that no other bird has. With a small structure and shell surrounding the nostrils, they can forage to find prey in the bushes, and at the same time prevent sand and dust from entering the nose. 
2. Frigate bird
 
Surely Easter Island (Indian Ocean) is quite familiar to everyone, but the Frigate bird is probably few people heard of. The survival of the Frigate bird was once threatened by the island’s mad weaver ants. But now, their density and number have gradually stabilized.
 

With extremely fast and accurate wind speed, Frigate species are known as great predators. Once the target is identified, no fish can escape their claws. 
 
 
However, the special thing of this species is the ability to “steal” prey right on the claws of other birds of prey and seagulls while they are in flight. Perhaps that’s why, they are also nicknamed “the pirates of the sea”.
 
3. Philippine Eagle
 
The Philippine eagle is particularly impressive by the title of “the largest bird of prey in the world” with a height of about 1m and a weight of 7kg. These eagles are also adept hunters when no prey can escape their sharp steel talons. 
 


The female Philippine eagle is about 1m tall and weighs 7kg, while the male is “smaller” – about 5kg and 0.9m tall.

 
With such a large length and size, the Philippine eagle is  “more than enough” to capture monkeys or any other animal that lives in their hunting range.
 
 
On July 4, 1995, this bird was chosen by the Philippines as the country’s mascot. If someone “accidentally” kills a Philippine eagle, perhaps they will have the opportunity to reflect on their actions during two years in prison. 
 
4. Kakapo parrots
 
The Kakapo is the only parrot in the world that can’t fly with its bright green plumage and face a bit like an owl. This is a nocturnal bird, so it is not surprising that many people refer to the Kakapo as the “nocturnal parrot”. 
 

Besides, Kakapo is the only parrot species in the world that only mate with mates of their own choosing. When choosing a “lover”, the male birds will fight with each other and the female will choose the male bird that she likes best “as a husband”. 
 
 
However, the strangest thing about Kakapo parrots is that they mate very rarely, sometimes every 2 years. Perhaps this is also one of the reasons why this species is gradually becoming extinct.
 
 
Currently, the remaining number of Kakapo is quite small, only 124 individuals. Therefore, until now, preventing the extinction of this parrot species is still attracting a lot of attention.
 
5. California Collared Vulture
 
The California vulture is one of the world’s longest-living birds, with a life span spanning up to 60 years in the wild. Vultures are carrion eater, their main food is usually rotting meat. 
 

 
According to statistics in mid-2013, the number of vultures has increased nearly 20 times with the help of humans (237 individuals in the wild and 198 individuals in captivity).
 
 
The California vulture is the bird with the widest wingspan in North America and is often mistaken for a small plane. 
 
6. Oilbird 
 
The oilbird (South American vernacular guácaro) is a nocturnal bird that eats fruit and lives in caves. They find and locate food by echolocation, much like bats and dolphins. However, the difference is that humans can hear some of the sounds they make. 
 

According to research, they are the only birds that can fly, eat palm oil, laurel and are nocturnal (quite similar to the Kakapo parrot but Kakapo can’t fly).
 
 
In addition, because of their name (translated from English as oil bird), oilbirds were once hunted by humans for the purpose of extracting oil for fuel. 
 
7. Hoatzin . Bird
 
This is the last species on the list and also the most unique bird in the world. Hoatzin is the size of a pheasant, living in the Amazon forest and the Orinoco plain. 
 

Hoatzin is a “vegetarian” bird. Their food is mainly leaves, fruits and flowers. Although they live quite frugal, they are also nicknamed “smell birds” because they smell like plant fertilizer. Perhaps that’s why they escaped human hunting because their meat could not be processed into food. 

A special feature of this Hoatzin bird is also its food digestive system similar to that of their cows. Hoatzin has a forebrain used to crush food and ferment it with bacteria. The kite in Hoatzin evolved with the same functions as the rumen in cows. This evolution made their kites very large, making them unable to fly as far as other species.
 
 
In addition, it is the only bird with claws growing out on each side of its wings. The claws on their wings keep them away from large black falcons. When the falcon attacks, the parents Hoatzin will fly away to distract and the young birds will hide themselves under the thick feathers of the wings. 
 
Hoatzin’s parents will plunge into the water to pretend to be dead, and use their claws to hold on to avoid being washed away. When the falcons leave, they will use their claws to climb to the ground and fly back to the nest.

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