Most bird watchers and scientists say that there are roughly 9,000 to 10,000 species of birds. One of the main ways to identify them is physical appearance and once you start looking closer, it becomes obvious that birds come in many shapes and colors. And some are absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. From those with incredible eyelashes to the ones that look like tiny cotton balls, continue scrolling and check out some of the most beautiful birds from around the world.

#1

The Secretary

The Secretary

Rudi Luyten Report

Sarah Ryan
Community Member
12 months ago

Those lashes though!

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Understanding the differences between bird plumages is vital to everyone who want to identify them. The term refers to a bird's feathers, including the color and pattern those feathers produce.

Birds have developed intricate plumages due to various aspects, including protection from predators, via camouflage, and sending sexual signals to potential mates. Birds usually lose and replace their feathers at least once a year through molt and regrowth.

"Each feather on a bird's body is a finely tuned structure that serves an important role in the bird's activities," Mya Thompson, the co-director for Engagement in Science and Nature for the Cornell Lab, wrote. "Feathers allow birds to fly, but they also help them show off, blend in, stay warm, and keep dry."

#2

Blue Crowned Pigeon

Blue Crowned Pigeon

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R L
Community Member
12 months ago

That blue!

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"Some feathers evolved as specialized airfoil for efficient flight. Others have been shaped into extreme ornamental forms that create impressive displays but may even hinder mobility. Often we can readily tell how a feather functions, but sometimes the role of a feather is mysterious and we need a scientific study to fill in the picture," Thompson explained.

A good example of one of these mysteries are feather tufts on the heads of Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus) which are often mistaken for ears. These modified contour feathers are completely separate from the ear and do not help owls hear, yet scientists can't explain the function of these tufts. Some think the horns are for display, others suggest that owls use them for more complete camouflage while roosting in daylight, but no one knows for sure.

#3

Long Tailed Tit

Long Tailed Tit

makieni , makieni Report

varwenea
Community Member
12 months ago

What a cute fur ball.

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#4

Malaysian Large Frogmouth And Her Baby

Malaysian Large Frogmouth And Her Baby

eggonmyface Report

Ceredwyn Ealanta
Community Member
12 months ago

Baby frogmouths are legitimately the cutest creatures on earth.

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#5

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

santisoukp Report

R L
Community Member
12 months ago

Looks like the colour of a glacier.

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#6

Secretary Bird

Secretary Bird

reddit.com Report

MeK1602
Community Member
12 months ago

Ok, now it make sense: lush eyelashes, long legs ... fancy walk. Secretary, alright!

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#7

Victoria Crowned Pigeon

Victoria Crowned Pigeon

The Virginia Zoo Report

logical fallacy
Community Member
12 months ago

The shade of blue is just magnificent.

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#8

Grandala

Grandala

adityaa_chavan Report

R L
Community Member
12 months ago

The blue is so vibrant

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#9

Beautiful Strawberry Finch

Beautiful Strawberry Finch

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Monika Soffronow
Community Member
12 months ago

The Strawberry Finch is pre-dipped in sugar for added sweetness.

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#10

The Nicobar Pigeon

The Nicobar Pigeon

Sue Demetriou Report

Emerald Joanna
Community Member
12 months ago (edited)

This looks like it's wearing a korowai

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#11

The Harpy Eagle

The Harpy Eagle

leon_moore_nature_experience Report

Sarah Ryan
Community Member
12 months ago

Resembles a stone garden statue

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#12

Pigeon With A Curly Perm

Pigeon With A Curly Perm

emelbi_artist Report

varwenea
Community Member
12 months ago

Someone got a perm.

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#13

Dracula Parrot

Dracula Parrot

Mike Peel Report

Capermom
Community Member
12 months ago

Damn...he looks like he survived a bush fire and came out stronger and meaner...

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#14

South Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher

South Philippine Dwarf Kingfisher

migueldavid.deleon Report

MsM
Community Member
12 months ago

He looks like a cheeky fellow

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#15

Tilhi

Tilhi

wallmika Report

Jonna Saari 🇫🇮
Community Member
12 months ago

Tilhi in Finnish 🇫🇮💙 In English it's the Bohemian waxwing (according to Wikipedia at least). Such a beautiful bird with a lovely voice!

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#16

Bearded Reedling

Bearded Reedling

bird_drangsland Report

Sarah Ryan
Community Member
12 months ago

Don't be glum chum

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#17

Quetzal

Quetzal

Vaclav Sebek Report

logical fallacy
Community Member
12 months ago

This bird has been my favourite ever since I was little. Saw it in a NatGeo coffeetable book on exotic birds when I was about four. I named her Green (because I'm very original) and went to say hello to the illustration every day for years. Still stand by it though, the tiny beak makes it really cute.

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#18

Sword-Billed Hummingbird

Sword-Billed Hummingbird

Supreet Sahoo Report

Monika Soffronow
Community Member
12 months ago

Sir David Attenborough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1iLOyuTxoI

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#19

Golden Pheasant

Golden Pheasant

joinus12345 Report

glowworm2
Community Member
12 months ago

These birds are so gorgeous.

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#20

Mandarink Duck

Mandarink Duck

Rovdyr Report

Perfumista Perfumista
Community Member
12 months ago

We had one in Central Park for a while, most beautiful thing I've ever seen in person

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#21

Inca Tern

Inca Tern

Truus & Zoo Report

Jody Brown
Community Member
12 months ago

You Must Pay The Rent

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#22

Guineafowl

Guineafowl

Francois Malan Report

Emerald Joanna
Community Member
12 months ago

That Prince hairdo! Stunning!

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#23

The Black-Throated Bushtit

The Black-Throated Bushtit

joinus12345 Report

Sarah Ryan
Community Member
12 months ago

Joker?!

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#24

Crested Duck

Crested Duck

JerryP Report

logical fallacy
Community Member
12 months ago

They're the judges of the lake.

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#25

Taiwan Blue Magpie

Taiwan Blue Magpie

joinus12345 Report

Monika Soffronow
Community Member
12 months ago

Stunning photo!

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#26

Pygmy Wren Babbler

Pygmy Wren Babbler

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MsM
Community Member
12 months ago

Awww... a little peanut

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#27

Rufous-Crested Coquette

Rufous-Crested Coquette

Supreet Sahoo Report

My O My
Community Member
12 months ago

What name shall we call him by?

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#28

Plate-Billed Mountain Toucan

Plate-Billed Mountain Toucan

Supreet Sahoo Report

glowworm2
Community Member
12 months ago

Holy crap! Toucan Sam is real!

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#29

Cock-Of-The-Rock

Cock-Of-The-Rock

Supreet Sahoo Report

Jeremy
Community Member
12 months ago

so many different types, imagine if humans came in so many varieties

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#30

Lady Amherst's Pheasant

Lady Amherst's Pheasant

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Capermom
Community Member
12 months ago

Would be interesting to see the entire bird...

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Note: this post originally had 50 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.