Top 15 of the Biggest Birds of Prey: Raptors That Rule the Skies

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Top 15 of the Biggest Birds of Prey

The heaviest and largest birds that had the ability to fight are now extinct. The largest and heaviest bird species living is in mountains, plains, forests, and riversides.

These fascinating creatures are at the food chain top owing to their amazing capabilities and traits. The top 15 of the biggest birds of prey are sure to astonish you as they are the biggest birds on earth.

1. Ostrich

The ostrich is the largest living bird. Native to Africa, it weighs from 63 to 145 kilograms, and male ostriches weigh 156.8kg. The male ostriches can be 6 to 9 ft inches in height, and the female ostriches are 5-6 ft 7 inches tall.

Ostriches have powerful, large legs – it definitely stands tall with impressive agility (read more about the ostrich symbolism). They sprint up to 70km/h speeds, jog at 30mph, and stride covering 3 to 5 meters.

2. Andean Condor

The Andean Condor is the largest bird with a wingspan of 9.8 feet and weighs 33.1 lbs (15kgs) (it’s the largest but not the heaviest bird).  They live in mountainous regions that have abundant wind to help in flight with their body weight.

The Andean Condor feeds on large carrion, it is a vulture. Check also our comparison: condor vs vulture or read more about the condor symbolism.

Andean Condor

3. Dalmatian Pelican

The Dalmatian Pelican is the heaviest species among flying birds measuring 5 to 6 feet (160 to 183 cm). the weight is 7 to 15 kg (16 to 33.1 lb) and the wingspan is 9ft 6 to 11ft 4 in (290-345 cm). It breeds from southeastern Europe to China and India.

4. Kori Bustard

Kori Bustard is the heaviest flying animal existing. It is in temperate Asia and central/south Europa. Native to Africa, Spain and Portugal have 60% of the Bustard population.

A typical male Bustard is (3ft 11 in to 4ft 11 in) 120-150 cm tall. The length is 3ft 9 in (115 cm) and has a wingspan of 6ft 11in – 8 ft 10in (2.1 to 2.7m. The weight of a male range from 7 to 18 kg (15 to 40lb), and females range from 4.8 to 8 kg (11 to 17.6 lb).

5. Lappet-Faced Vulture

Lappet Faced Vultures feature a wingspan of 9.8 feet (3 meters). They weigh 30.8lbs(14kgs). It is in Arabia and African savannahs (read here about the top African birds of prey). These birds of prey kill flamingos, antelopes, and gazelles. This raptor is aggressive and is successful in keeping them away from carrion.

6. Emperor Penguin

The Emperor Penguin reaches in height of 51 in (130 cm) and weighs (49to 99 lb) from 22 to 45 kg. It is the heaviest and tallest among living species of penguin. The female and male emperor penguins are the same in size and plumage. Read here about the penguins and their spiritual symbolism.

Emperor Penguin
Emperor Penguin

7. Emu

The Emu weighs between 18-60 kg (40 and 132lb). It reaches up to 6.2 ft (1.9 mts). The females are larger than males and sprint the speeds of 30 mph (48 km/h).

8. Bearded Vulture

Bearded Vulture weighs up to 8 kgs (17.7 lbs). Bearded Vultures are in Asia, Africa, and Europe. They are scavengers and their wingspan is over 3 mts (9.8ft). They swipe up the carcasses of dead animals and break the bones by dropping them from heights. It feeds on the marrow.

Bearded Vulture - Biggest Bird of Prey
Bearded Vulture

9. African Crowned Eagle

The African Crowned Eagle is an aggressive raptor residing in tropical African rainforests. This bird of prey has a 2 mts wingspan (6.5 feet). It hunts animals weighing 77.1 lbs. (up to 35 kg). This Crowned Eagle preys on small antelopes, chevrotains, hyraxes, and Guinea fowl.

10. Northern cassowary

The Northern cassowary is a large bird. Native to northern New Guinea, its average weight is 58 kg(128lb), while females weigh up to (154 lb) 70 kg. Males are smaller with a stocky build. This bird can sprint up to 31 miles an hour or 50 kilometers.


11. Greater Rhea

Greater Rhea on the American continent is the largest bird weighing (44-88 lb) 20-40 kgs. It has powerful, strong legs allowing it to run up to 56 km/h or 35mph. It is endemic to Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

12. Cinereous Vulture or Eurasian Black Vulture

The Cinereous Vulture is in Europe and Asia.  It weighs 15-27.5 pounds (7 to 12.5 kg). The wingspan is 250-295 cms (8 – 10 ft).

13. Himalayan Vulture

The Himalayan Vulture weighs 8 to 12 kgs (18-26 pounds). It is in Central Asia, in the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayan Mountains. Its wingspan is 9 to 10 feet (270-300cm). This bird glides above sea level to 5000 meters. They soar high in the air with minimal effort.  The Himalayan Vulture changes altitude relying on the season.

Himalayan Vulture
Himalayan Vulture

14. Steller’s Sea Eagle

Steller’s Sea Eagle is in Japan and Russia. It is the heaviest eagle weighing up to 19.8 lbs(9 kgs). It has 8.1 feet (2.5 meters) wingspan. The bird feeds primarily on fish, it attacks baby seals and other large birds. This raptor is an endangered species and gets poisoned as they ingest lead while scavenging on the remains of animals.

15. Eurasian Eagle Owl

The Eurasian Eagle Owl is in Asia and European forests and mountains. It weighs up to 9.2 lbs/4.2 kgs. The wingspan is 6.5 feet and 2 meters. The prey bird is powerful among the owls. It is known to indirectly kill a human. This raptor feeds on feeder rabbits, rodents, and small foxes.

Click if you’re interested in the Top 15 of the Biggest Birds in the World.

[Video] Top 10 Largest Birds of Prey

More about birds of prey

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Author: Richard Alois
Richard, a London-based spiritual explorer and daytime marketer, invites fellow seekers to join him on a journey of discovery through his website, With engaging articles and thought-provoking discussions, Richard's inclusive approach transcends borders, uniting people in the quest for wisdom, inner peace, and self-understanding.

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