When we think of birds, we usually picture some small peaceful creatures, symbolizing peace and freedom. But it is not always the case, as we find out in this post.
The list below highlights 10 of the world’s most dangerous bird – they most likely to kill you – if you really ought not to avoid them:
10. Red-tailed Hawk
The red-tailed hawk is a bird of prey, one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the “Chicken Hawk” or “California Hawk”. One of North America’s most widespread and common hawks, the red-tailed hawk is easily identified by the red upper surface of its broad tail.
They typically weigh between 2 and 4 pounds. The wingspan of the red-tailed hawk is measured between 38 and 43 inches. Their wings are broad and the tail is short. Female bird of this species of hawk is larger than males. They prefer to live in open areas.
As you can expect, the powerful talons are the main weapon of red-tailed hawks. That’s what exactly you should be afraid of. Because red-tailed Hawks defends their territory fiercely. They become aggressive if you cross their boundary and would attack with their powerful talons. It could result in severe injuries.
9. Australian Magpie
Despite its name, the magpie-lark is neither a magpie nor a lark. This striking Australian bird was given its name by early settlers, who thought that the bird’s plumage looked like that of the European black-billed magpie (Pica pica) and that its body shape was somewhat lark-like.
Australian magpie is also considered to be the most dangerous bird in the country, after Southern Cassowary. In Spring, when nesting period arrives, Australian Magpies becomes very aggressive. This behaviour is to protect their nest. If they found you as a threat, they would attack you fearlessly.
The magpie-lark is primarily a carnivorous species, feeding mostly on invertebrates such as insects, spiders, worms, and crustaceans. However, small vertebrates, including reptiles and frogs, are also sometimes taken, and seeds are occasionally eaten.
8. Common Loon
The Common Loon is a large diving bird. These migratory birds spend their Summer in lakes and ponds in the Northern United States, Canada, and Greenland, whereas in Winters they tend to migrate to South, to Pacific and Atlantic coastlines.
They have a length of 24 to 39 inches and wingspan up to 60 inches. The spear-like beak is the most highlighting feature of a Common loon. The diet of the common loon includes fish, insects, amphibians, and plant matter.
The Common loons can dive up to 200 feet for up to 5 minutes at a time and unlike other birds have solid bones to reduce their buoyancy. It is thought that the red eyes of the common loon may help with their underwater vision.
Their sharp beak is their biggest weapon – they have a tendency to attack humans in close proximity – by targeting head or neck, just like attacking their natural predators such as bald eagles, ravens or skunks. Such an attack with spear-like beaks could cause serious problems.
7. Snowy Owl
Perhaps one of the most instantly recognizable of all owls, the snowy owl is characterized by its distinctive white plumage, which gives it good camouflage against the snow.
Although it generally feeds on small mammals, the snowy owl is also capable of taking prey as large as geese. Snowy owls will aggressively defend their nest from predators and have even been known to drive wolves away. Often pairing for life, the male snowy owl performs an aerial display for the female during courtship, sometimes carrying a lemming too.
Male and female snowy owls can be distinguished by their markings; males are nearly all white, while females are marked with dark bars.
Cassowaries, the largest of all forest birds, are wonderfully peculiar animals. They are flightless; have a prominent, bony casque on top of the head; and a formidable claw on the innermost of its three toes.
The dwarf cassowary occurs on the island of New Guinea, and the surrounding, smaller islands of New Britain, Ceram, and Japan.
Cassowaries are curious, and they do attack from time to time, but attacks on humans are relatively rare. Those attacks that do occur overwhelmingly involve soliciting food from people.
One of the most famous attacks occurred in 1926 one member of a group of teenaged boys hunting cassowaries was killed after a cassowary leapt upon him while he was on the ground. The bird slashed the boy’s jugular vein with its long toenail.
Surprisingly for its bulky size, the dwarf cassowary can also leap obstacles, swim rivers and defend itself with a kick from its powerful, clawed feet.
The distinctive ostrich is the heaviest of all living birds, and it has the biggest eyes of any land animal. The ostrich is the only bird to have just 2 toes, one of which has a formidable 10 cm long claw.
Despite being flightless, the ostrich can run up to 70 km per hour, making it the fastest running bird. If cornered, it can deliver dangerous kicks capable of killing lions and other large predators. Deaths from kicks and slashes are rare, with most attacks resulting from humans provoking the birds.
One of Australia’s most famous animals, the Emu is a large flightless bird, second only to the ostrich in height. The emu’s large, bulky body is covered in shaggy grey-brown feathers that conceal tiny wings.
Each foot is equipped with three, forward-facing toes on the end of long, powerful legs, capable of propelling this large bird at speeds of up to 50 kilometres per hour.
The emu has an omnivorous diet that typically includes a wide variety of fruits, shoots, seeds, insects and other small animals, and droppings.
Like cassowaries and ostriches, the toe claws of emus are capable of eviscerating animals under the right conditions.
However, human fatalities are extremely rare. Reports of emu attacks resulting in a range of injuries in Australia and in wild-animal parks, emu farms, and zoos across the world are not uncommon, with more than 100 occurring in the period of 2009-2010 alone.
Huge and majestic, the lammergeier is a highly distinctive bird-of-prey and one of the largest old world vultures.
Amongst the most skilled gliders, the lammergeier is magnificent in flight, hardly ever seeming to beat its wings as it soars high above the mountain passes. Enormous wings enable it to soar with characteristic ease above the mountain slopes, while the outline of its long, diamond-shaped tail is unmistakable in flight.
The lammergeier ranges from southern Europe through the Middle East to northeastern China, and also occurs in parts of north, east and southern Africa.
Attacks on humans are either rare or even anecdotal – however, they do poses a significant danger to humans if they feel threatened. This high altitude bird-of-prey typically inhabits remote mountain ranges in a variety of vegetation types, ranging from alpine meadows to sparsely-vegetated, rocky slopes. It is mostly found above 1,000 meters, with some individuals on Mount Everest being recorded an impressive 7,500 meters above sea level.
2. Great Horned Owl
The great horned owl is the second largest owl in North America. They are a large and powerful bird of prey, with characteristic horn-like ear tufts from which it gains its common name.
An opportunistic hunter, the great horned owl has a remarkably varied diet that includes insects, rabbits, hares, opossums, skunks, ducks, geese, herons, reptiles, frogs, fish and occasionally domestic cats. It has also been known to kill animals as large as porcupines.
The neck of the great horned owl can rotate up to 180 degrees to provide this species with almost all-around vision. Owls of all kinds have been known to attack people when defending their young, their mates, or their territories. Frequent targets include unsuspecting joggers and hikers. Often victims escape without injury, and deaths from owl attacks are extremely rare.
1. Barred Owl
The barred owl is a rather large, round, chunky owl with a large, grey-brown head and a pale, well-developed facial disc. Considered to be highly territorial and are aggressive towards intruders.
Barred owls hunt at night or at dusk – The diet of which is mainly composed of small mammals such as voles, mice, rats, shrews, moles, and chipmunks. An opportunistic predator, the barred owl can also take amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates.
The barred owl is widely distributed throughout Canada, the United States, and Mexico. They weigh between 630 and 800 grams (1.4 to 1.8 pounds) and have a wingspan of about 110 cm (43 inches). Attacks by barred owls on hikers are common and have been reported in news media on several occasions.