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Top 5 Largest Birds on Earth | Wingspans

1. Wandering Albatross - Diomedea exulans

Wingspan: 11.8 feet (3.6 meters)
These are amazing and majestic birds. They spend their entire lives at sea and only come ashore to reproduce every other year. The Wandering Albatross breeds on South Georgia Island, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, Prince Edward Islands, and Macquarie Island. Although the largest confirmed report was around 12 feet, there have been accounts of Wandering Albatross wingspans as large as 17 feet across. Such long wings enable these birds to glide effortlessly over the ocean for hours at a time without flapping its wings. Its body length can reach close to five feet in length. Unfortunately, these majestic birds have declined by more than 30% in 70 years with their biggest threat being long line fishing practices. However, pollution, especially from plastic is also taking its toll. Adults unknowingly feed their chicks bits of plastic they find floating in the ocean, causing a slow death for the unfortunate chick.

2. Great White Pelican - Pelecanus onocrotalus

Wingspan: 11.8 feet (3.6 meters)
These are large and distinct birds that inhabit the eastern Mediterranean to Vietnam and South Africa. Like all pelicans, these birds are adapted to aquatic life. They have webbed feet and feed on many fish per day, but like most birds are opportunistic feeders. They are known for forming huge aggregations, including a colony of around 75,000 in Tanzania. Please note that this is not the American White Pelican, which inhabits the states.

3. Marabou Stork - Leptoptilos crumeniferus

Wingspan: at least 11 feet (3.4 meters)
These unusual scavengers are a frequent sight on the African plains feeding on carrion alongside vultures. These impressive birds inhabit both wet and arid habitats south of the Sahara. They are often called "undertaker birds" because of their habits. They are gregarious and colonial breeders. They can weigh up to 20 pounds and can reach a height of 60 inches. Although they usually eat carrion, they will also eat small mammals, birds, and nestlings.

4. Andean Condor - Vultur gryphus

Wingspan: 11 feet (3.4 meters)
This is a magnificent and humungous bird! These massive vultures spend the days soaring on updrafts in the Andean Mountains of South America. Most of its diet consists of carrion, but unlike most vultures, these birds will kill small to medium sized mammals as well. They do not reach maturity until they are around eight years old and can live 50 to 60 years in the wild. Males are larger than females and can weigh over 30 pounds. A remarkable sight when soaring!

5. Whooper Swan - Cygnus cygnus

Wingspan: 9.8 feet (3 meters).
Some of the heaviest flying birds are our swans -- in the US the heaviest flying bird is the Trumpeter Swan, but the Whooper Swan is an elegant bird that winters in northern Europe and eastern Asia. They may fly hundreds of miles to reach breeding grounds in subarctic Eurasia. These birds are powerful flyers, despite weighing 18-44 pounds (8-20 kilograms)! They have a very deep call and are truly a remarkable bird to witness in flight.