Starting off this incredible list of birds with spiky hair, we have some genuinely remarkable creatures whose stylish manes would give the most outrageous punk rockers a run for their money!
- List of Birds With Spiky Hair
- Grey Crowned Crane
- Crested Duck
- Mandarin Duck
- Great Crested Grebe
- Red-whiskered Bulbul
- Polish Crested Chicken
- Curl-crested Aracari
- Silver Pheasant
- White-crested Helmetshrike
- Eurasian Hoopoe
- Philippine Eagle
- Royal Flycatcher
- Ornate Hawk-Eagle
- Guianan Cock-of-the-Rock
- Himalayan Monal
- Western Crowned Pigeon
- Marabou Stork
- Dalmatian Pelican
- Red-legged Seriema
- Red-Crested Turaco
- Wood Duck
- Blue Birds With Spiky Hair
- Black Birds With Spiky Hair
List of Birds With Spiky Hair
From the endearing Mandarin duck to the forbidding Marabou stork, these incredible birds are all crowned with a spectacularly spiky crest!
Grey Crowned Crane
Scientific Name: Balearica regulorum
The Grey Crowned Crane is about 1 m (3.3 ft) tall and weighs 3.5 kg (7.7 lb) with a wingspan of 2 m (6.5 ft) topped off with a glorious crown of stiff golden feathers, they are a fascinating sight.
When Grey Crowned Cranes separate from their families to begin their own, they are known to gather in large groups similar to a human wedding!
They are distributed throughout dry savannahs in sub-Saharan Africa but are also found in wetter climes such as Uganda and Kenya.
Scientific name: Lophonetta specularities
Although we love to admire this bird’s interesting coiffure, there is a serious reason behind it: the feathers cover a genetic mutation that causes a part of its skull to be missing.
Their favorite treats include snails, slugs, and crickets.
The crested duck originates in East India and has since been an inhabitant of Holland.
Scientific Name: Aix galericulata
The Mandarin Duck is closely related to the Wood Duck and has elaborate plumage. The adult male has extraordinary markings, a large red bill, and spiky whiskers!
Mandarin Ducks are rather shy and quite good at hiding behind over-hanging willows.
First introduced in China, they are now found on park lakes and other wetland areas of England, Wales, and Scotland.
Scientific Name: Dromaius novaehollandiae
The neck of the emu is light blue with shaggy brown plumage, the tips of which are black absorbing the sun’s rays and keeping them cool.
They spend their time foraging, resting, and having dust baths! They are actually able to swim should the need arise.
Their stomping ground covers Australia. Wild emus have been granted protection under the environment protection and biodiversity conservation act 1999.
Great Crested Grebe
Scientific Name: Podiceps cristatus
The Great Crested Grebe is a sleek waterbird and measures around 46-51 cm (18-20 in) long with a 59-73 cm (23-29 in) wingspan. Its elegant head feathers led to it being hunted for its plumes.
As if this bird were not already delightful enough, young Grebes can often be seen riding on their parents’ backs!
The Great Crested Grebe can be found on lakes reservoirs and rivers where it will build floating nests.
Scientific Name: Pycnonotus jocosus
The red-whiskered bulbul is short-necked and slender with long tails but has short, rounded wings. It has a distinctive black crest with a flash of scarlet behind its eyes and of course, a very special hairstyle.
By nature, they are friendly and pal about in couples. You’re most likely to spot them in Asia but they have been introduced to many other tropical areas of the world.
Polish Crested Chicken
Scientific Name: Ulisse Aldrovandi
The Polish chicken is a spectacular sight to behold! With an impressive set of head feathers, it is clearly seen why they have been depicted in paintings as far back as the 15th century.
They are considered a great child-friendly family chicken and have a gentle disposition.
It is a European bird with the oldest accounts coming from the Netherlands.
Scientific Name: Pteroglossus beauharnaesii
As the name suggests, the curl-crested acari has a crown covered in the most beautiful soft grey curls.
Their bill allows them to drink water from tree crevices and the last three vertebrae are joined allowing them to flip their tail above their body and touch their head!
The curl-crested acari are found along the Amazon river in Brazil, Peru, and North-Eastern Bolivia.
The males have white upper parts extending to their extremely long and elegant tails while their underparts and crest are a shiny blue/black.
They are omnivores feeding on insects and worms and they have an average litter size of 6-9 eggs.
This breed of pheasant is mostly found in the high-altitude forests of Thailand, Vietnam, Southeast Asia, and China.
Scientific Name: Prionops plumatus
Their name refers to the white helmet-like ruff of stiff feathers around their heads and bills.
They are a gregarious species and move in small flocks.
They live in hierarchies and only one pair are allowed to mate. They are found across sub-Saharan Africa.
This spice-colored bird has a tall, erectile crest, a broad white band across a whitetail, and an elegant, tapering bill.
Solitary foragers feed on seeds, berries, and the occasional insect frog, or small reptile.
This stunning creature may be spotted in Europe, Asia, and the northern half of Africa.
Scientific name: Pithecophaga jefferyi
Also known as the monkey-eating eagle, its nape is decorated with long brown feathers in a shaggy mane.
This species’ flight is fast and sleek, resembling more of a hawk and juveniles have been known to ‘play’ attacking inanimate objects for practice!
They are endemic to the Philippines and are found on the four main islands.
Scientific Name: Onychorhynchus coronatus
A sight to behold with a flame red and violet blue crest, generally on display during courtship or antagonistic encounters. They open front to back so they are aerodynamic.
Specialists at catching insects even in mid-flight they are known as tyrant flycatchers
This bird inhabits the wilds of Central and South America and as far as Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.
Scientific Name: Spizaetus ornatus
The largest females are 13% larger than males and both sexes are solid with a long tail and orange plumage on the side of the head.
They live solitarily or in pairs and there is evidence of ornate hawk eagles shifting territories due to the intrusion of another.
They range from Central Mexico to Central America and the Andes.
Scientific Name: Rupicola Rupicola
The unmistakable adult male is bright orange with a large half-moon crest on its head.
Their nests are built on the rock faces of cliffs.
They are found in lowland forests in Southern Guyana, Columbia, Venezuela, and Northern Brazil where they feed on fruit, berries, insects, snakes, and lizards.
Scientific Name: Lophophorus impejanus
This large male pheasant has an iridescent green crest and copper on the back while the female has a more toned-down look.
They are social and can be seen in pairs or small groups foraging for roots and invertebrate prey.
The Himalayan Monal frequents Afghanistan, Pakistan to the Himalayas.
Western Crowned Pigeon
Scientific Name: Goura cristata
This phenomenal bird has a lacy headdress and blue-grey plumage surrounded by maroon.
Classed as vulnerable it remains common only in remote areas due to being hunted for its striking plumes.
If you’re lucky enough to see one, you’re most likely in a forest or a swamp in Irian Jaya or Indonesia.
Scientific Name: Mergellus albellus
The male smew is a fabulous contrast of stark black and white. Females and immature males are grey with chestnut foreheads.
The smew’s bill is hooked with cleverly jagged edges allowing it to easily catch fish whilst diving.
It spends winters on the lakes of the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, Northern Germany, and the low countries.
Scientific Name: Leptoptilos crumenifer
This enormous bird can reach a height of 152cm (4.99 feet) and is said to be one of the ugliest birds on the planet. Nicknamed The Undertaker’ thanks to its almost bald head (save for a few wispy bits of white feathers), black back, white underparts, and wings that look like a cloak, this bird is not going to go unnoticed.
It’s hard to miss the Marabou Stork’s throat pouch which comes in handy not only for storing food but also for making sounds since it does not have a voice box.
His bald head comes in handy for getting inside entire corpses without the cumbersome incident of feathers being soaked in blood.
With a high survival rate, the marabou thrives in Africa south of the Sahara, often near landfill sites.
Scientific Name: Pelecanus crispus
The dalmatian pelican is one of the heaviest birds native to Europe. It has a curly nape of feathers, grey legs, and silvery white plumage.
During mating season, it will develop an impressive orange pouch.
This bird can be found in rivers, deltas, and estuaries.
Scientific Name: Cariama cristata
The statuesque seriema has salmon-colored legs, a red beak, a rather delicate fan-shaped crest, and brown/black vermiculated plumage.
Don’t be fooled by his generally sedentary nature – he can run faster than a human and even race a car at speeds of 15 mph! They are wary and territorial, feeding alone or in pairs.
They nest in low trees and lush meadows in Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Argentina.
Scientific Name: Tauraco erythrolophus
The red-crested turaco is green through the body with blue feathers and of course, a red crest. Interestingly, the chest contains pigments consisting of copper. If you stir a glass of water with a turaco feather in it, the water will turn pink!
The diet consists of fruit, nuts, seeds, and invertebrates.
They live in the tropical forests of Angola where it is the national bird.
Scientific Name: Aix sponsa
The adult male mood duck has a brilliant glittering plumage of many colors and dazzling red eyes. Both sexes have a noble crested head.
They feed on the surface of the water instead of diving or they forage on land for berries, seeds, and insects.
During the breeding season, they are most likely to be in marshes and ponds in the United States, southern Canada, and the west coast of Mexico.
Blue Birds With Spiky Hair
When we think of bluebirds, we might think of Disney-like songsters but the following list proves that they come in all shapes, sizes, and shades, but these birds all share a dramatic feature – their spiky hair!
Scientific Name: Anthropoides virgo
Surely one of the most elegant birds ever to grace the earth! The plumage is grey-blue with a black chest and long neck.
Their diet consists of seeds, plants, and small invertebrates which they find in prairies, rocky terrains, and even deserts.
The Demoiselle Crane is native to Europe, Central Asia, and northern Africa.
Great Blue Turaco
Scientific Name: Corythaeola cristata
This largest species of turaco has blue-grey plumage with a blue-black crest which is an impressive 10cm high!
This fruit-loving species has short, round feathers which means they tend to glide from tree to tree rather than fly.
The Great Blue Turaco can be found throughout the African tropical rainforest.
Victoria Crowned Pigeon
Scientific Name: Goura Victoria
This is considered the largest surviving species of pigeon on earth with a mean body mass of 2.3 kg (5.3lb) It has a lacey crest, maroon breast, and red irises
Not shy, they walk slowly along the forest floor looking for fallen figs, seeds, and invertebrates.
Native to New Guinea, this bird was named to commemorate the British monarch, Queen Victoria.
Scientific Name: Caloenas nicobarica
The grey-blue head of this colorful creature turns to glitter green and copper at the back of the neck and graduates to a short tail of pure white.
Roaming in flocks, it feeds on fruit and buds. It is even clever enough to use a stone to grind up hard food items!
You’ll find him in his namesake Nicobar Islands, India, and Malay. Some recent exciting news involves several sightings in Western Australia.
Black Birds With Spiky Hair
The following birds all have spiky hair and are either black or mostly black. Ranging from Australia to the Channel Islands, keep an eye out for these gorgeous creatures and their impressive tresses!
Scientific Name: Rollulus rouloul
The male of this stunning species decorates his deep blue body with a tall red crest, white forehead spot, and black bristles. The female sports an olive-green body, copper wings, and slate grey head.
The nest is scraped out of the ground and covered in leaves and new-borns will be fed bill-to-bill
Scientific Name: Fratercula cirrhata
This large puffin has a glossy black body, a white face, and long, pale neck plumes offsetting a huge red bill. These tufted seabirds eat small fish which they can catch while swimming. They can carry between 5-20 fish back to their nests at a time.
The North Pacific Ocean is the place to look for these keen fishermen and more rarely, the Channel Islands and the coast of southern California
Scientific Name: Crax rubra
Both male and female Great Curassows have an incredible curly crest but males are midnight blue across the body and females are found in three different shades of brown although, they are shy so finding one may be a task!
Leaves, insects, and spiders are suppers for this curly top and much time is spent foraging on the forest floor.
This large pheasant spends its time in eastern Mexico, Central America, Western Columbia, and Ecuador.
Yellow Birds With Spiky Hair
These spiky-haired birds are a burst of sunshine with their brilliant yellow plumes! From pale flaxen to deep golden and all shades in between – these birds crowning glories are something to crow about!
Scientific Name: Cacatua galerita
The sulfur-crested cockatoo is an intelligent bird of spectacular appearance. Mostly white with black beaks and a stunning crest of spiky yellow feathers on their heads which they often erect upon landing.
They are excellent mimics and emotionally complex with an extremely loud and raucous screech!
They dwell in the woods of Australia, New Guinea, and some islands of Indonesia.
Scientific Name: Chrysolophus pictus
This brightly colored bird sports a yellow crown and back with red underparts leading to a finely tapered tail. Also known as the Chinese pheasant or rainbow pheasant, its deep golden ‘cape’ is spread out in display creating the effect of a fan.
They feed upon grain, leaves, berries, grubs, and invertebrates which they find close to the ground.
Golden pheasants are native to south and western China and there is a small introduced population in England, Scotland and Wales.