Some Avian Records and Record Holders



Largest Bill = Australian Pelican (Pelecanus conspicillatus) up to 47cm (18.5in).

Most feathers = Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) = 25,216.

Fastest Flying = Falco peregrinus 200kmh/124mph, however this is in a steep dive. In level flight the record goes to the Wandering Albatross which was clocked maintaining 56kmh/35mph for 800km/500 miles.

Fastest Wingbeat = Horned Sungem Heliacter cornuta from S. America 90 beats/sec several other hummingbirds have similar wingbeat speeds.

Most acrobatic flight = Hobby Falco subbutea which can catch swallows and swifts in mid-air. Many hummingbirds can fly backwards and sideways as well as going vertically up and down.

Longest migratory flight = Arctic tern Sterna paradisa from Kondalakaha Russia to Freemantle W. Australia. They breed on shores of Arctic ocean then fly to the Antarctic. One bird was caught 9 months after it was banded 14,000 miles (22,530 km) away on the 29/11/73.

Highest recorded flight = Ruppell's Griffon Vulture Gyps ruepellii recorded flying at 11,277m/37,000ft, at this height human beings would die from lack of air.

Deepest dive = Emperor Penguin Aptenodytes fosteri with a dive of 534m/1751ft reported in the journal Condor in 1995.

Longest dive = Emperor Penguin Aptenodytes fosteri , recorded at 18 minutes in 1990.

Largest Roost = Brambling Fringilla montifringilla a roost of 70 million birds was recorded in Switzerland in winter 1951/52.
Largest natural distribution = Peregrin Falcon Falco peregrinus = found on every continent except Antarctica.

Largest natural clutch = Grey Partridge Perdix perdix over 15-16 up to 20.

Longest lived (proven claim) = Sulphur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita) one specimen lived 80 years in captivity as an adult.

Quickest generation time = 5 species of quails in the genus Caturnix they actually mature 5 weeks after hatching.

Keenest vision = Peregrin Falcon Falco peregrinus can see a pigeon at 8km/5 miles.

Keenest hearing = Barn Owls Tyto alba and kin, can catch a rodent in complete darkness.

Fastest Swimmer = Gentoo penguin (Pygaelis papua) recorded at 27km/h 17mph.

Loudest song = Male Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus) up to 7km 4.4 miles.

Fastest Runner = Ostrich, males can easily run at 72kmh/45mph.

The Bird with the Strongest Bill, or Jaws = The rare Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) which lives on well protected foods such as Palm Tree - Pine nuts. They are also the largest flying parrot in the world.

Birds have been fairly well studied and there is a lot more known about them than I have listed here. Though the original sources are scattered here and there four good books to start with if you want to know more are:-

National Geographic Complete Birds of the World
The Princeton Encyclopedia of Birds
Extreme Birds: The World's Most Extraordinary and Bizarre Birds
Top 100 Birding Sites of the World





Have You Seen The Other Earthlife Web Chapters
The Home Page of the Fish The Birds Home Page The Insects Home Page The Mammals Home Page The Prokaryotes Home Page The Lichens Home Page

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This page was designed and written by Mr Gordon Ramel



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