With many avian species living on different continents around the globe, you might wonder about the largest birds of prey in the world. Their huge build and strong hunting prowess make them an interesting species to learn about.
In this article, you will get the answer you are looking for and get to know some of these avians at a deeper level. Read on.
Check this short table for an overview of largest species of bird:
Location: Andes Mountain, Pacific Coast of Western South America
The Andean Condor is the largest bird of prey and the biggest flying bird of prey in the world.
This species of bird is also crowned as the largest bird of prey wingspan. Although they have large wingspans of more than 10 feet, their burly weight makes flying gracefully a challenge, so they rely on winds and thermals without flapping their wings much.
2. Eurasian Black Vulture
Weight Range: Approximately 21 pounds
Wingspan: 8.25 to 9.9 feet
Location: Southern Europe, some parts of Asia
Also called Cinereous Vulture, this raptor inhabits large areas of thick forests, semi-deserts, and open terrains. Among the largest predatory birds, they have a long lifespan ranging from 28 years in the wild and up to 38 years in captivity. You can spot them easily with their featherless heads and fluffy collars.
3. Himalayan Griffon Vulture
Weight Range: 18 to 26 pounds
Wingspan: 8.8 to 9.8 feet
Location: Himalayas, Tibetan Plateau, Central Asia
This bird got its name from the mythical creature with which it shares some resemblance. Himalayan Griffons have light, soft, and downy feathers which are rare for carrion-eating birds. These man-eating vultures play an important role in Tibetan Sky Burials since they scavenge remains on the Celestial burial ground.
4. Lappet-faced Vulture
Weight Range: Up to 30 pounds
Wingspan: Up to 9 feet
Also known as African Eared Vulture or Nubian Vulture, these birds got their name from the wrinkled and fleshy, loose skin on their face. They are considered the most aggressive bird on the continent and they have strong hooked beaks making them formidable in opening carcasses.
5. California Condor
Weight Range: 15 to 31 pounds
Wingspan: Up to 9.5 feet
Location: North America, Mexico, Utah
The California Condor is the biggest bird of prey in North America. They seek nesting places on cave openings, redwood hollows, and cliff edges. You can easily spot them with their huge black wings with white linings, and bald reddish-orange heads and necks.
6. Bearded Vulture
Weight Range: 9.9 to 17.2 pounds
Wingspan: 7.5 to 9.1 feet
Location: Southern Europe
Also referred to as Lammergeier, these vultures are easily noticeable with the red eye rings and black sideburns. Bearded Vultures’ diet mainly consists of bones. Their feeding style is unique, dropping the carcass on rocks whole mid-air. This will shatter the large bones, making them easier to eat.
7. Harpy Eagle
Weight Range: 9 to 20 pounds
Wingspan: Up to 7.4 feet
Location: Central and South America, Southern Mexico
The Harpy Eagle largest bird of prey is also the strongest bird of prey. The strongest eagle in the world has long and strong talons allowing them to hunt and prey on small mammals (sloths and monkeys) and large avians, securing a spot on top of the food chain. Harpy Eagle is the representative avian of Panama.
8. Steller’s Sea Eagle
Weight Range: 11 to 21 pounds
Wingspan: 6.5 to 8.2 feet
Location: Northeast Asia and Russian coastal areas
This eagle’s forward-facing eyes and sharp eyesight make them an excellent hunter of salmon and fish. Their strong and large orange bill, shoulder patches, and white bellies can be spotted from afar. Steller’s Sea Eagle is named the largest and heaviest sea eagle.
Also called Monkey-Eating Eagle, since they prey on monkeys alongside bats, flying squirrels, civets, lizards, and snakes. The Philippine Eagle is rare and you can only find it in four out of over 7,000 islands in the Philippines. They are on the verge of extinction because of habitat loss and hunting.
10. Golden Eagle
Weight Range: 6 to 18 pounds
Wingspan: 5.9 to 7.7 feet
Location: North America, North Africa, Europe, Asia
Golden Eagles are spread widely across the globe. They are astonishingly fast birds reaching speeds of 200 miles per hour. They are famous for the gold feathers behind their neck. Its diet consists of squirrels, hares, and prairie dogs. But they are also adept at hunting larger prey such as wild cows and cranes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the largest bird of prey extinct in history?
The world’s largest bird of prey that is now extinct is the Haast’s Eagle. This New Zealand bird ceased to exist around 700 years ago. It is called the “Flying Tiger” for taking down four meters tall birds as its prey.
The Haast’s Eagle weighs approximately 39.2 pounds, with a wingspan that can stretch up to 3 meters. They have large bills, strong legs, and claws similar to that of a modern tiger.
Raptors are fascinating birds that are placed at the top of the food pyramid. Our list of the largest birds of prey in the world is where you can find all the information you need to know about these impressive birds. Your birder friends will surely enjoy reading this as much as we had fun putting it together.
When you reach this part, you probably know more about the big bird around the world, their physical characteristics, and the features that placed them on our list. Do you have any fun facts or experiences to share? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section!
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.
Thayerbirding.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.