Exotic Birds That Look Like They Come From A Different Planet

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

bird with large blue
Photo Credit: Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

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

marabou stork - long beak, red lump at base of neck
Photo Credit: Gilles MARTIN / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Gilles MARTIN / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

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

bird with extremely long tail feathers
Photo Credit: SAM YEH / AFP via Getty Images
Photo Credit: SAM YEH / AFP via Getty Images

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

short, stout bird with irridescent feathers
Photo Credit: Wikimedia commons / H005
Photo Credit: Wikimedia commons / H005

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

colony of birds with balloon-like red puffed chest
Photo Credit: Wild Horizons / Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Wild Horizons / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

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

Trinidad, Asa Wright Nature Center, Tufted Coquette (hummingbird) Lophornis ornata
Photo Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler LightRocket via Getty Images

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

chicken with black plume and yellow ball-like segment on neck
Photo Credit: David Tipling / Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Photo Credit: David Tipling / Education Images / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

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

small bird with large beak, blue wings, black head, and brown belly
Photo Credit: Wikimedia commons / Greg Miles
Photo Credit: Wikimedia commons / Greg Miles

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

head of helmeted hornbill
Photo Credit: STR / AFP via Getty Images
Photo Credit: STR / AFP via Getty Images

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

bird's feather pattern matches tree bark
Photo Credit: Sylvain CORDIER / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Sylvain CORDIER / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

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

Galapagos Islands,hood Island Blue-footed Booby, Mating Dance
Photo Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler / LightRocket via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Wolfgang Kaehler / LightRocket via Getty Images

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

bird with crown-like plume on head
Photo Credit: Wikimedia commons / Tom Ambrose
Photo Credit: Wikimedia commons / Tom Ambrose

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.

The Shoebill

bird with enormous beak and mouth open
Photo Credit: Sylvain CORDIER / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Sylvain CORDIER / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

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

magnificent blue, green, red and yellow bird
Photo Credit: DeAgostini / Getty Images
Photo Credit: DeAgostini / Getty Images

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.

Scarlet Ibis

GettyImages-953401846
Photo Credit: Sylvain CORDIER / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Sylvain CORDIER / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

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

light blue bird with red coloring on cheeks
Photo Credit: Wikimedia commons / JJ Harrison
Photo Credit: Wikimedia commons / JJ Harrison

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

Tauraco schalowi - green bird with orange around eye and with spotted head plummage
Photo Credit: Wikimedia commons / John Puddephatt
Photo Credit: Wikimedia commons / John Puddephatt

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

woman holding small brown bird with long, thin beak
Photo Credit: TORSTEN BLACKWOOD / AFP via Getty Images
Photo Credit: TORSTEN BLACKWOOD / AFP via Getty Images

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

small vibrantly colorful bird
Photo Credit: Olaf Wagner / ullstein bild via Getty Images
Photo Credit: Olaf Wagner / ullstein bild via Getty Images

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

blue, black, and yellow small bird
Photo Credit: RODRIGO BUENDIA / AFP / GettyImages
Photo Credit: RODRIGO BUENDIA / AFP / GettyImages

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.