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Top 10 Rarest Birds In The World

We know birds as some of the world’s most beautiful creatures, especially when it comes to the rarest birds in the world.

These beautiful birds come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, you really can not get bored of them.

South Philippine dwarf kingfisher, stunning orange, purple, navy and black bird

Unfortunately, things like deforestation, climate change, and human activity have pushed them to the brink of extinction.

Despite this, several conservation projects are currently underway to help the most vulnerable of these species and bring them back from the brink of extinction.

Newly discovered bird of paradise in black and blue doing an elaborate dance

Below is a list of the rarest birds in the world:

10 – Golden Pheasants – First on our list

Stunning golden pheasant looking regal -  10th on the list

You have probably seen the golden pheasants at zoos, but those are most likely hybrids. The real golden pheasants live in the Western forests of China. Their name came from the gold feather on their crests, making them look very beautiful.

These colorful birds can grow up to 41 inches, and their tail makes up 2/3 of their entire body length. Golden pheasants are hard to find these days, and there’s little known information about them since you can rarely see them in their natural habitat.

9 – Spix’s Macaw – Ninth in our rarest birds in the world list

Spix Macaw - the blue parrot made famous by the movie Rio, 9th on the list of rarest birds in the world

Made famous by the 3D-animated film “Rio”, the Spix’s Macaw is a parrot bird that’s already declared extinct in the wild. Although there are several of these birds in captive breeding programs.

Before these birds went extinct, they had dwelled in the forests of Bahia, Brazil. Recently, conservationists announced that they are in the process of releasing 52 Spix’s Macaw into the wild. Currently, there are about 180 of them under the captive breeding program.

8- Madagascar Pochard – Number eight of the rarest birds in the world

Madagascar Pochard, the brown duck - 8th on the list of rarest birds in the world

The Madagascar Pochard is an extremely rare diving duck and has made a successful comeback in recent years, thanks to the many successful conservation efforts. They rediscovered these birds in the wild in 2006, but they have long been considered extinct before that.

After several years of research and a successful breeding program, some young Pochards have been released into the jungle of Madagascar. While this is good news, fewer than a dozen of these birds live on the lake, and several others remain unaccounted for.  

7 – Hawaiian Crow – Seventh of the rarest birds in the world

Hawaiian crow, looks like a normal crow

Considered extinct in the wild, the Hawaiian Crow is one of the rarest birds in the world. But there are various efforts to conserve these bird species. In fact, they re-introduced a breeding pair into the wild in 2019.

While they managed to build a nest and lay eggs successfully, these eggs did not hatch. Aside from the unsuccessful breeding in the wild, breeding these birds in captivity can be tricky since only a few are left.

6 – Rufous-headed Hornbill – Sixth in our list of the rarest birds

Rufush headed thornbill, weird bird with big orange bill - 6th on the list of rarest birds in the world

Native to the Philippines, the Rufous-headed Hornbill is now considered an endangered species. They are recognized for their bony “casque” sticking out from the top of their red-orangey bills. Their bills might look strong, but they are structurally thin in actuality.

These birds have gone extinct because of severe deforestation, hunting, and nest poaching. However, several conservation efforts are underway to save them, mainly involving keeping a close watch of their nests.

5 – Blue-eyed Ground-Dove – Halfway down the list

Blue eyed dove, brown fat fluffy bird with bright blue eyes - Halfway down the list

The Blue-eyed Ground-Dove is another critically endangered bird that deserves to be on this list of the rarest birds in the world. Originated in Brazil, researchers thought these birds had already gone extinct since they had not been seen since 1941. However, they have rediscovered these bird species in 2015. So far, there are three distinct groups of these bird species that live in the wild.

4 – Imperial Amazon – Number four in our list of the rarest birds in the world

Imperial amazon, looks like a brown parrot with green wings - 4th on the list of rarest birds in the world

Originated in the Dominican Republic, the Imperial Amazon is the country’s national bird. Yet, they are now considered critically endangered. In 2019, researchers estimated that only about fifty mature Imperial Amazons are in the wild, significantly down from the previous headcount of hundreds. The main reasons for their extinction are frequent hurricanes and a severe loss of natural habitat.

3 – New Caledonian Owlet-Nightjar – Down to the top three now

Drawing of the New Caledonian Owlet-Nightjar, black bird with orange eyes - 3rd on the list of rarest birds in the world

In this list of the rarest birds in the world, the New Caledonian Owlet-Nightjar is probably the most mysterious. In 1980, researchers discovered only two of these birds in the wild. One was found while attempting to fly into a bedroom in a small village in New Caledonia.

By 1915, only a few of these bird species were discovered in the wild. There’s not a lot of information about these rare birds, but researchers believe that their numbers have not risen and are now probably close to extinction.

2 – Antioquia Brushfinch – Second in our list of rarest birds in the world

Antioquia Brushfinch - 2nd on the list of rarest birds in the world

The Antioquia Brushfinch is another bird that’s thought to have already been extinct several years but was recently discovered in 2018 by a Colombian agronomist. Since then, researchers have observed less than fifty of these bird species left in the wild. More research is required to determine whether these birds are critically endangered or not.

1 – Stresemann’s Bristlefront – Officially our top pick of the rarest birds in the world

Stressmann's Bristlefront - looks like a skinny black chicken - number 1 on the list

With only one left, the Stresemann’s Bristlefront is definitely one of the rarest birds on Earth. Before researchers found this single bird in Brazil in 2018, they thought these species had already gone extinct.

Unfortunately, due to the loss of most of their habitat in America’s Atlantic forests, there’s a very slim chance for these species to be saved. The Atlantic Forest is now reduced to less than 8% of what it was. As a result, so many species have gone completely extinct, which unfortunately include the Stresemann’s Bristlefront.

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Written by Joe Kahlo