List of Flightless Birds

A Baby Penguin/Image Source: Wikimedia
Flightless birds are birds who have lost their ability to fly. There are more than 60 surviving species of flightless birds, which include well-known ratites (ostrich, emu, rhea, cassowary, and kiwi) and penguins.

Ostrich is the largest flightless bird, in term of both height and weight. It can measure upto 2.7 m in terms of height height and 156 kg in terms of weight. Ostrich is also fastest land running bird with maximum speed of 43 mph.

Inaccessible Island Rail is the smallest flightless bird, measuring at 12.5 cm in length and 34.7 gram in weight.

Before extinction, Moa were the tallest flightless birds, standing at 3.6 m and Elephant birds were the heaviest, measuring between 350 and 500 kg

Many birds like domestic chicken and domestic ducks have lost their ability to fly, thanks to their domestication. Their wild relatives junglefowls and mallards are still capable of extended flight.

List of Flighless Birds



Anseriformes (Waterfowl)
Auckland Island teal
Campbell teal
Steamer duck

Podicipediformes (grebes)
Junin grebe
Titicaca grebe

Pelecaniformes (pelicans and allies)
Flightless cormorant

King penguin
Emperor penguin
Adélie penguin
Chinstrap penguin
Gentoo penguin
Little blue penguin
White-flippered penguin
Magellanic penguin
Humboldt penguin
Galapagos penguin
African penguin
Yellow-eyed penguin
Fiordland penguin
Snares penguin
Erect-crested penguin
Rockhopper penguin
Royal penguin
Macaroni penguin

Woodford's rail
Lord Howe woodhen
Calayan rail
Pink-legged rail
Guam rail
Roviana rail
Snoring rail
Inaccessible Island rail
Henderson crake
Invisible rail
New Guinea flightless rail
Samoan woodhen
Makira woodhen
Gough Island moorhen
Tasmanian native hen

Psittaciformes (parrots)

Beside Moa and Elephant bird, Dodo, and Great Auk are two famous extinct flightless birds.
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