Avian Records and Record Holders

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. Avian Records and Record Holders

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

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