Birds are one of the most genetically diverse members of the animal kingdom on the planet. Across all seven continents, more than 10,000 species of birds thrive. These species can be large, small, fast, slow, friendly, and vicious. While birds are extremely common today, they come from an extinct species. The oldest bird fossils on record date back to 150,000,000 years ago, and strongly resemble small dinosaurs. Because of these similarities, it is believed that birds evolved from a group of dinosaurs called theropods. Since then, the winged creatures have evolved and developed into the numerous species we know today. Although different types of birds have many different names, there is a surprising number of birds that have names beginning with a certain letter. Keep reading to discover 10 amazing birds that start with H.
The Largest Bird That Starts With H
The harpy eagle is the largest bird that starts with H. Native to tropical forests in regions of South America, this bird is extremely powerful. The great harpy eagle measures almost three and a half feet in length, and has a wingspan of almost seven and a half feet. Ranging in weight from 13 to 20 pounds, these eagles can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. These carnivorous predators eat just about any small animal they can snatch in their talons from the forest floor. Harpy eagles have black and grey feathers, with a crown of dark feathers protruding from their heads. They mate for life and produce offspring once every three years or so during their 30-year lifespan.
The Smallest Bird That Starts With H
Although there are over 350 different kinds, hummingbirds remain the smallest birds that start with H. These birds range in height from two to eight inches and have a maximum weight of just over a half ounce. While small, hummingbirds can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, beating their wings 80 times each second. They have a wingspan of between three and five inches and usually live for about four years in the wild. In addition to being the smallest birds that start with H, hummingbirds are the only type of bird that can fly backward. These tiny creatures are omnivores and are native to the western hemisphere.
The Fastest Bird That Starts With H
Similar to a falcon, the hobby, specifically the Eurasian hobby, is the fastest bird that starts with H. These birds have grey and black feathers with white throats. Their feathers near their feet have a more rust-like color, which contrasts with the rest of their bodies. The hobby is native to areas of Africa and Asia and measures up to 14 inches in height. With a wingspan of around 33 inches, this bird can fly at speeds of up to 99 miles per hour.
The Slowest Bird That Starts With H
The hairy woodpecker is the slowest bird that starts with H. These birds typically measure about nine inches in length and can be recognized by a white patch and spotting amongst their otherwise black feathers. Male hairy woodpeckers have a tuft of red feathers on the tops of their heads, but this trait is lacking in females. Most commonly found in South America, these birds prefer a warm, humid climate. Just like other woodpeckers, these birds are known for flying at slow speeds. The maximum speed a hairy woodpecker may reach is around 20 miles per hour.
The Most Common Bird That Starts With H
Native to almost every part of Europe and Asia, the most common bird that starts with H is the hawfinch. These birds measure around seven inches in length, and they have an estimated global population of more than 50,000,000. Hawfinches have tan-colored feathers with a black circle surrounding their eyes, throats, and beaks. Asides from occasionally feeding on insects, these birds mainly eat hard seeds and fruits in the forests they live in.
Other Birds That Start With H
While certain birds that start with H may stand out based on a certain defining characteristic or trait. There are hundreds more. Keep reading to discover just a few of the most fascinating birds in the animal kingdom that also start with the letter H.
Native to the southern United States, specifically Texas, the hooded oriole is a beautiful bird. These birds have orange and yellow feathers that contrast their darker faces and wings. They measure around eight inches in length and have a wingspan of between nine to 11 inches. Hooded orioles have a lifespan of around four years in the wild, surviving off a diet of mainly insects and fruit.
The hoopoe may be the most interesting-looking bird on this list. These birds have pinkish-brown bodies decorated with black and white striped wings. Their heads have a long feathered crest with black stripes that stick upward in times of excitement or danger. Hoopoes are native to the majority of the eastern hemisphere and measure 11 inches in length. They have a wingspan that reaches almost 17 inches in total.
Similar in size to a chicken, the hoatzin has a blue face, black and red feathers, and an orange-colored chest. One interesting fact about these birds is how they digest their food. Bacterial fermentation helps hoatzins process what they eat, which gives off a nasty smell. This unpleasant scent is part of what keeps the birds safe from predators, and gives them the nickname of the “stinkbird.” These birds are native to regions of South America along the Amazon River and live off of leaves and other vegetation.
The Harris hawk is native to most of North America. These hawks have massive wingspans of up to four feet and measure about two feet in length. They have red and brown patches on their shoulders, and white feathering on their tails. Harris hawks follow a carnivore diet and are often very high on the food chain in the ecosystems they inhabit. They can live up to 20 years in the wild, and as long as 33 years in captivity.
Native to sub-Saharan Africa, hamerkops live anywhere near a water source. These birds measure around 22 inches on average in length and weigh between 14 to 15 ounces. They are most active during the day and live for up to 20 years in the wild off of a carnivore diet. Hamerkops have dull brown colored feathers and slightly lighter undersides. They have long stretching heads that extend past their shoulders, and slender black beaks. Another way to recognize these birds is by the huge nests they build. Hamerkops build the biggest nests out of any bird in Africa, often weighing over 50 pounds.
Summary of Birds That Start With H
|1||Harpy eagle||Harpia harpyja|
|4||Hairy Woodpecker||Leuconotopicus villosus|
|6||Hooded oriole||Icterus cucullatus|
|9||Harris’s Hawk||Parabuteo unicinctus|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © godi photo/Shutterstock.com
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