Avians are a diverse species with approximately over 11,000 varieties all over the world, ranging from those only 2.25 inches tall to 9-foot-tall birds. As such, one can only imagine how impossible it is to pinpoint a definitive answer to the question, “How much does a bird weigh?”
That said, the average weight of a bird can range from 227 to 1134 grams, give or take. However, depending on its size, a bird’s weight can differ greatly from the average range we just mentioned.
For a deeper understanding of the bird weights, we will have more detailed information in the next section. Read on.
Table of Contents
How Much Does A Bird Weigh
Bird species come in all shapes and sizes. They can weigh as light as a gram and a half up to 200 pounds. You can see the overall view of the weight range of common birds through different chart types. Here we have this bird weight chart.
|Bird Species||Weight (in kg)||Weight (in grams)|
|American Robin||0.072 – 0.094||72 – 94|
|House Sparrow||0.024 – 0.04||24 – 40|
|Blue Jay||0.07 – 0.1||70 – 100|
|Pigeon||0.24 – 0.38||240 – 380|
|Plum-headed Parakeet||0.05 to 0.06||50 – 60|
|House Finch||0.016 – 0.027||16 – 27|
|American Crow||0.3 – 0.6||300 to 600|
|Mourning Dove||0.14 – 0.18||140 – 180|
|Blue Quaker Parrot||0.06 to 0.08||60 – 80|
|African Grey Parrot||0.4 – 0.7||400 – 700|
|Northern Cardinal||0.042 – 0.048||42 – 48|
|Indian Ringneck Parrot||0.095 – 0.143||95 – 143|
|European Starling||0.06 – 0.096||60 – 96|
|Turkey Vulture||0.8 – 2.41||800 – 2410|
|Peach-Faced Lovebird||0.046 – 0.063||46 – 63|
|Pine Warbler||0.009 – 0.015||9 – 15|
|Mountain Chickadee||0.010 – 0.012||10 – 12|
|Bluejay||0.07 – 0.1||70 – 100|
|Anna’s Hummingbird||0.003 – 0.006||3 – 6|
Interestingly, birds’ skeletons don’t account much for their body weight. In fact, on average, avian species’ average bone mass percentage is only around 6% to 9%. This is mostly because their bones are pneumatized, meaning they’re full of air cavities.
In contrast, though a feather weighs only 0.082 gram, its cumulative weight can take 5-10% of the total body mass. In some cases, the combined heft of feathers can be 2 to 3 times heavier than the skeleton.
Average Bird Weight
The average bird weight can vary based on the number of bird species you include in your list and the corresponding weight of each one. When calculating the average weight, you simply add all the weights and divide them by the number of species.
For backyard birds in the United States, the average weight is around 37 to 54 grams. However, the number is not precise since there is some weight difference not only per species but also for the male and female birds of the same species.
The Differences Between Male vs Female Birds
Although negligible, a bird’s weight also varies depending on its gender. Females are usually lighter in most bird species, with males heavier only by several grams. This is true in species like cockatiels, bluejays, sparrows, pigeons, etc.
However, in some avian varieties, especially raptors, females weigh more than males. This includes Red-tailed Hawks, Peregrine Falcons, Cooper’s Hawks, and Eurasian Griffon Vultures. Many scientific studies have been conducted, but none can fully determine why female birds of prey are heavier than their male counterparts.
Despite the published scientific data, the compared weight of the males and females can still have some discrepancies; thus, these are only approximations. What’s clear is males and females of the same bird species do not weigh exactly the same.
The Common Lightest Bird
The Bee Hummingbird holds the record of being the smallest and lightest avian in the world. This small bird weighs only 1.6 grams (0.056 ounces) and lays eggs the size of a coffee bean. Due to its size and ability to hover, it is often mistaken as a bee; thus, the name.
Here are other lightweight birds other than the Bee Hummingbird:
|Bird Species||Image||Weight (in ounces)|
The Common Heaviest Bird
The Common Ostrich is the largest and heaviest bird in the world weighing 160 kilograms. They are also the tallest bird with a height that can reach up to 2.8 meters. You might think that their heavy body will make them slow, but the Common Ostrich is also hailed as the fastest animal with two legs.
What other birds are deemed the heaviest after the Common Ostrich?
|Bird Species||Image||Weight (in kilograms)|
For flying birds, the heaviest record goes to the Great Bustard. They can weigh from 8 to 20 kilograms and have a wingspan of up to 8 feet. You can locate these birds in the farmlands and open grasslands of South and Central Europe.
The weight of a bird can affect how far they fly and at what speed. In addition, it will also impact their take-off and landing, and their flight technique.
Factors That Affect Bird Weigh
How the bird weighs will depend on several considerations and situations. Knowing these will make us understand the diverse weight of bird species across the country. The deciding factors influencing bird weight are:
- Bird habitat- birds that inhabit cold regions have more feathers to combat heat loss. Feathers weigh light, but a ton of them can affect the overall weight of an avian.
- Size and shape- each kind of bird has its own unique shape and size. Just like how hummingbirds are on the smaller side while woodpeckers are bulkier.
- Fat deposits- birds store fat deposits in around 16 parts of their body, but mostly in the subcutaneous adipose depots. The fats provide insulation and keep the birds warm during the cold months. The more fat deposits there are, the heavier the bird will be.
- Recent food intake- if the bird just ate and has a full stomach, you can expect it to weigh more than it usually does.
Frequently Asked Questions
How heavy is an ostrich?
Ostriches are the world’s largest birds and weigh around 100 to 160 kilograms. The females are smaller than males, but their weight does not fall under a hundred kilos.
How much are the parrots’ weight?
As shown above, different parrot breeds have varied average weight ranges. For example, the blue Quaker parrots are often very small, only weighing around 60 to 80 grams. In contrast, the African grey parrots are much bigger, tipping the scale at 400 – 700 grams.
What is the weight or mass of a parakeet?
Parakeets are one of the smaller parrot species. They only weigh approximately 25 to 36 grams. Any changes in their weight can be concerning for their owners; thus, it is vital to regularly monitor and ensure their growth in weight is healthy.
What are bird drugs?
This term is a slang related to cocaine. Specifically, “chicken” is used in many cities to refer to a kilo of cocaine and “bird” for raw powder cocaine.
In the Middle East, there is a case where a pigeon was captured with a mini backpack full of drugs. The authorities know already that pigeons are being used to smuggle drugs. However, this is the first time they have evidence to back it up.
The answer to “How much does a bird weigh?” is a piece of important information for every birder or person who owns a bird as a pet. Isn’t it interesting to know about the heaviest and the lightest bird in the world?
We hope you find everything in this article helpful and can share them with anyone interested in learning about bird weight. Share the knowledge we imparted with you. If you have some for us, the comment section is always open. We love to hear from our readers!
George and I became friends after a birdwatching trip with our new group. And we have been enjoying every adventure together. When he told me the idea of establishing a site that shares our experiences and fun, I immediately agreed. After trials and errors, here we have Thayerbirding.