The world is filled with a wide variety of animals who roam the seas, earth, and air. Of the many species, however, many of the most bizarre ones are birds.
Here are some bird species who look like they came from a different planet and belong in a sci-fi movie.
The Temminck’s Tragopan
This colorful bird with a dramatic-looking chin is a Temminck’s Tragopan, a medium-sized pheasant species. These birds are found along the northeastern mountains of India and in central China, and their diet consists of mostly berries and grass.
The Marabou Stork
These storks inhabit the wetlands in areas across sub-Saharan Africa, frequently found wading in shallow waters. Despite their rugged and terrifying appearance, these birds offer little to no threat to humans—instead, they mostly scavenge for dead animals and search through landfills.
The Long-Tailed Mountain Lady
Formally named the Taiwan blue magpie, this long-tailed bird is a member of the crow family. It naturally inhabits the mountains of Taiwan, living at elevations between 300–1200 meters above sea level.
The Himalayan Monal
This species of pheasant is native to the Himalayan forests and shrub-lands. These birds are notable for the male’s metallic and iridescent feathers, which range from hues of blue to red.
The Magnificent Frigatebird
These magnificent birds have big, puffy red chests that could rival a body builder’s. These birds, which live in mainly coastal areas of the southern USA and Mexico, are known as pirates of the sky since they tend to steal food from other birds while in the air.
The Tufted Coquette
This species of tiny hummingbird is found in the northern areas of South America—primarily in Venezuela. They may be small, but their unique orange plumes and spotted neck patterns make them stand out from other hummingbirds.
The Greater Prairie Chicken
These chunky game birds are roughly the size of a crow and have short legs with a stout body, but they’re most recognizable by the male’s round yellow neck plumage.
The Rufous-Bellied Kookaburra
Anything with a name like “kookaburra” is bound to be fascinating. These birds are dispersed across the lowland forests of New Guinea. They can be identified by their brilliant blue wings while flitting between trees in the rainforest.
The Helmeted Hornbill
The helmeted hornbill is one of the most unique hornbill species on the planet and is the only one with a solid casque on its head. Unfortunately, the uniqueness of this bird has made it prey to poachers and hunters who sell their casques for a hefty price.
The Great Potoo
The great potoo is the largest of all potoo species. These birds are nocturnal and are found predominantly in the rainforests of Mexico all the way down to Bolivia. Despite their camouflaged feather appearance, their most unique trait is apparently the sound they make while hunting for insects.
The Blue-Footed Booby
The blue-footed booby is a marine bird most commonly found on the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. It’s most recognizable by its blue feet, a sexually selected trait in the species. This particular bird is currently performing a mating dance to try and entice a female.
The Amazonian Royal Flycatcher
If there was ever a bird to bow down to and call “your majesty,” this is it. The Amazonian royal flycatcher, which is found in the Amazon rainforest, is most recognizable by its colorful plume that resembles the headdress or crown of a leader.
Also known as the “whale-headed stork,” this relative of the pelican is quite a sight to take in—although, perhaps an unpleasant one. These large-billed birds are found in swamps across the central rainforests of Africa.
The Resplendent Quetzal
Found from Mexico all the way through Central America, the resplendent quetzal is known for its vibrant and colorful feathers. They aren’t particularly skilled flyers and aren’t that good at hunting insects, so their diet consists mainly of fruit.
These beautiful red birds are found all across the Caribbean and in regions of South America. They use their distinctive long, thin beaks to poke through the soft mud of swamps for insects and small sea creatures.
The Red-Cheeked Cordon-Bleu
Don’t mind its blushing—this finch species is found in dry areas all across Sub-Saharan Africa. These small birds only weigh about 9.9 grams on average when fully grown and live off a diet of seeds.
The Schalow’s Turaco
This bird is literally prettier than me and I’m kind of mad. From its rich jade green coloring to white-tipped head plumage and orange accents around its eyes, this bird is drop-dead stunning.
The North Island Brown Kiwi
New Zealanders are no stranger to the kiwi—it’s the country’s national bird. This flightless species is about the size of a chicken and is identifiable by its round, brown body and long thin beak.
The Gouldian Finch
Also known as the “rainbow finch,” these Australian birds are unique in the fact that both the male and female members of the species have brightly colored feathers (most species have dull-colored females).
A Black-Chinned Mountain-Tanager
Found in the northern forested areas of the Andes mountain range, these birds are known for their bright yellow coloring and blue-tipped wings and tails. Since they’re so specific about their living environment, there are only a small amount of these birds worldwide.