Best White Birds With Long Necks – A List For The Interested

White birds, particularly ones with long necks, are some of the most commonly seen birds throughout North and South America. These birds may all share gleaming white feathers, but their characteristics vary greatly from each other. 

While you may be familiar with white birds with long necks, such as the Stork or the Swan, there are also a few others worth knowing. In this article, you’ll explore 6 of these birds while learning about their unique characteristics and traits. 

Great egret
Great egret (Ardea alba)

Key Takeaways

  • White birds come in all shapes and sizes. Some are the size of crows, while others have bodies larger than the size of a football. Sometimes, the size of these birds doesn’t always correlate with their body weight, as birds must be lightweight in order to fly. 
  • The sound of a bird depends on its size, beak, and behavior. All birds have distinct sounds that allow them to communicate with other members of their species. While some birds may have a high-pitched squeal, others have a loud, low squawk. 
  • You’ll find that many birds, especially white birds with long necks, tend to live in wet areas near sources of water. Sometimes, these birds prefer swamps and wetlands, while others prefer more vast bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, and oceans.

Great Egret

great egret portrait
Great egret (Ardea alba)

The Great Egret is an elegant bird with a slim body and long neck. This beautiful white bird also has a slim, pointed yellow beak that shines against its white feathers. 

  • Family: Ardeidae
  • Size: Medium
  • Wingspan: 51.6 – 57.1 in
  • Weight: 35.3 oz 
  • Body: S-curved Neck
  • Tail: Short
  • Diet: Small fish
  • Habitat: Freshwater and saltwater wetlands. 
  • Song: Dry, Nasal, Harsh, Croaking
Great egret (Ardea alba) white bird long neck
Great egret (Ardea alba)

You can find this bird in many parts of both North and South America. These birds are known for hunting for food throughout the marshy wetlands, eating any small fish or insects they can find. 

Click here for more information on the Great Egret.

More reading

Snowy Egret

snowy egret
 Snowy egret (Egretta thula)

The Snowy Egret gets their name from their glacier-white wings. These slender birds can be identified by their snowy wings and slim bodies, soaring throughout the skies of Northern America and parts of South America. 

  • Family: Ardeidae
  • Size: Medium
  • Wingspan: 41 in
  • Weight: 13oz
  • Body: Short and slim
  • Tail: Short
  • Diet: Fish, shrimp, crayfish, crabs, snakes, snails, insects, and small lizards. 
  • Habitat: Marshes, lakes, coasts, ponds. 
  • Song: Nasal sounds, loud, harsh. 

Currently, the Snowy Egret is critically endangered, and efforts to preserve these birds are in effect. Their population declined due to being poached and hunted for their wings, often popular choices for women’s hats. 

Click here for more information on the Snowy Egret. 

Trumpeter Swan

trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator)
Trumpeter swan (Cygnus buccinator)

The trumpeter swan is one of the most beautiful and elegant birds native to North America. These birds have long been a symbol of grace, and beauty, often being associated with love and relationships. 

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Below we put together a list of our favorites for you.

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  • Family: Anatidae
  • Size: Medium
  • Wingspan: 53 – 98 inches
  • Weight: 7.7 – 30 lb
  • Body: Long s-curve neck, large, thick body. 
  • Tail: Short, Upward structure
  • Diet: Plants, Molluscs, Insects
  • Habitat: Rivers, Lakes
  • Song: Deep, “OH” sound, Nasal

Trumpeter Swans are known for sticking with their mates for life. Some swans will even remain independent after their mate passes. 

They are also one of the largest flying birds and are able to fly at great heights due to their lightweight, honeycomb-like bone structures. 

Click here for more information on the Trumpeter Swan. 

Further reading

Whooping Crane

whooping crane (Grus americana)
Whooping crane (Grus americana)

The Whooping Crane is a large, majestic bird with an impressive wingspan. It’s a rare sight to see a Whooping Crane soaring overhead, and truly a sight to see if you are lucky enough to experience it. 

  • Family: Gruidae
  • Size: Large
  • Wingspan: 7.5 ft
  • Weight: 9.9 – 19 lb
  • Body: Slender, Long skinny legs. 
  • Tail: Medium downward
  • Diet: Small fish, insects, reptiles, amphibians. 
  • Habitat: Wetlands, Wet Prairies, Marshes
  • Song: Loud whooping sounds. 

In the 1940s, the Whooping Crane’s population declined to around 20 birds. Fortunately, conservation efforts have allowed their population to slowly climb to a much more manageable amount. 

The Whooping Crane is also the tallest bird in North America due to their long, slender legs. 

Click here for more information on the Whooping Crane. 

Further reading

Stork

White stork (Ciconia ciconia)
White stork (Ciconia ciconia)

As a child, you may have been told that the Stork is responsible for bringing newborns to their families. While these birds may not actually deliver babies, they are one of the most giant birds in North America.  

  • Family: Ciconiidae
  • Size: Large
  • Wingspan: 5 – 7ft
  • Weight: 5 – 10lb
  • Body: Compact body, Medium curved neck. 
  • Tail: Long, downward, black feathers. 
  • Diet: Fish, Frogs, Snakes, Rodents, Lizards, Crustaceans, Spiders, Scorpions
  • Habitat: Grassland, Freshwater, Wetlands, Savanna
  • Song: Loud, Nasal, Donkey-like

Storks have the ability to live up to 30 years on average, and there are instances of these birds living close to 40 years old. While storks do have a loud, nasally sound, most of the time, these birds are silent and communicate much quieter than other birds. 

Click here for more information on the Stork. 

Also, check out this video for an in-depth look into the Stork’s story and association with where babies come from. 

Further reading

White Ibis

American white ibis (Eudocimus albus), white bird long neck
American white ibis (Eudocimus albus)

The White Ibis is a medium-small bird, about the size of a crow. When they spread their wings, they appear to have black fingers guiding them along their flight. 

  • Family: Threskiornithidae
  • Size: Small
  • Wingspan: 3 ft
  • Weight: 2.1lbs
  • Body: Medium-sized, straight neck, downward turned beak. 
  • Tail: Short and straight.
  • Diet: Crayfish, crabs, frogs, snails, small fish, insects. 
  • Habitat: Marshes, mudflats, swamps, rice fields, lagoons. 
  • Song: Nasal honk, throaty murmurs. 

The appearance of this bird is strikingly unique. Most of their body is covered in white feathers, but their legs and face appear bright red-orange. The black fingers are just one of the many traits that make the White Ibis special. 

These birds are known for wading in shallow waters, usually in groups of other Ibises. 

Click here for more information on the White Ibis.

Further reading

Sources

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Author:
Cynthia Demers
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Cynthia is dealing with animals' symbolism and all things spiritual for many years. She wants to help readers achieve balance in physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband.

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