What Makes Them Strange: With a face only a mother could love, the Marabou Stork looks just plain strange. Growing up to 20 pounds, these oddballs have a bald head and long beak, perfect for scavenging. Like the vulture, their featherless head has adapted to allow them to root through corpses and other waste without creating too much of a mess.
What Makes Them Strange: It’s the only bird species that has “nasal corns,” small structures over the nasal openings. It’s thought that they evolved to prevent dust and other particles from entering the nose, since the Kagu spends so much time rooting around the dirt with its beak its prey.
What Makes Them Strange: The Christmas Island Frigatebird captures its prey in one of two ways. One is it eats flying fish while they’re above the sea’s surface, relying on marine predators to drive the fish out of the water. That’s not that weird. The second, more interesting way, this: while in flight, the bird steals food that other seabirds and gulls have managed to nab themselves, all while airborne. Scientists call them “aerial kleptoparasites.” We like to call them “sky pirates.”
What Makes Them Strange: If being the longest eagle in the world and dining on monkey meat isn’t enough, it’s also got a fascinating relationship with human culture. It was made the national bird of the Philippines on July 4, 1995. As a result, if you kill one, you can look forward to spending twelve years in prison.
What Makes Them Strange: This parrot has so many unique features its hard to know where to begin. It is the world’s heaviest and only flightless parrot. It is nocturnal, which is unusual for parrots, and is the only parrot in the world known to mate by lekking. In a lek, males gather in an arena where they form themselves into a sort of mating buffet. The females come by, watch their displays, and pick out their favorite males. It’s common in ungulates like deer, and is known to occur among some birds, like prairie chickens, but the kakapo is the world’s only parrot to do it. But perhaps their weirdest trait is also ultimately the source of their eventual downfall: they only breed three times, on average, each decade. Breeding occurs only when the fruit of the rimu tree (Dacrydium cupressinum) is in relative abundance.
What Makes Them Strange: Well, they have a frog’s face for starters. These nocturnal birds are rarely seen during the day, and have a unique method of self-defence: when a predator approaches they will cock their head up, blending in with the trees and appearing as a broken branch.
What Makes Them Strange: The largest North American land bird, the California Condor wins strange points simply because of how hideous they are. A scavenger who relies primarily on carrion, this big bird has a three-metre wingspan and lives for upwards of 50 years. Despite their less than lovely visage, the California Condor has some remarkable abilities: they can soar for upwards of three-miles without flapping their wings, and are neat-freaks that spend hours cleaning their feathers.
What Makes Them Strange: There’s a very good reason it’s such a foul smelling bird. The Hoatzin has a digestive system unlike any other bird, and actually more like a cow. They have a foregut that they use to break down the plants they eat using bacterial fermentation. It’s not a rumen, as ruminants like cattle have; instead, evolution operated on part of their digestive anatomy called the crop, a feature common to birds, to make it function much like a cow’s rumen. As a result, the crop is so large that it displaces muscles that otherwise would have been used for flight. Hoatzins can still fly, just not all that well.
What Makes Them Strange: The long wattled umbrella bird holds this long wattle against their chest during flight. They live in the wet forest of Colombia and Ecuador. Insects, lizards and nuts are the main food of the long wattled umbrella bird.
What Makes Them Strange: Shoebills have an average height of 5 feet and weighs between 4 to 8 kilogram. During nesting season they produce sound using bills to communicate between each other. They usually hunt for snakes, amphibians, lizards, and rats at night. They stay calm for a long time waiting for prey. They then make a sudden attack on its appearance, crushing the prey using their enormous bill.
What Makes Them Strange : They mainly lives within Andean mountains of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Bolivia. Andean cock of the rocks only grow up to length of 32 centimeters and weighs up to 230 grams. Their nest have a concave cup like shape, uses saliva, mud and vegetable wastes for construction. Fruits, berries and insects are main food of Andean cock of the rock.
What Makes Them Strange : The beautiful and intriguing Hoopoe is a colorful bird that is found across Afro-Eurasia, recognized for its distinctive “crown” of feathers. The hoopoe is classified in the same group as kingfishers, rollers, and bee-eaters. Having a muscular head, the hoopoe is able to open its beak when it is inside the ground. Their diet consists of mostly insects, but they can also eat seeds and berries, and small lizards and frogs.