How many species of flightless birds are there? How many can you name?

Approximately 60 species of flightless birds are still living. About 166 others have gone extinct in the past 100 centuries, and about half of the existing flightless birds are listed as threatened with or vulnerable to extinction. The largest flightless bird is the Common Ostrich, and the smallest is the Inaccessible Island Rail. Bird groups with flightless members include the ratites, waterfowl, grebes, cormorants, penguins, rails, and parrots. How many can you name?  Find a list below:

  • Common Ostrich
  • Somali Ostrich
  • Greater Rhea
  • Lesser Rhea
  • Southern Cassowary
  • Dwarf Cassowary
  • Northern Cassowary
  • Emu
  • Southern Brown Kiwi
  • Okarito Kiwi
  • North Island Brown Kiwi
  • Little Spotted Kiwi
  • Great Spotted Kiwi
  • Auckland Islands Teal
  • Campbell Islands Teal
  • Flightless Steamer-Duck
  • Falkland Steamer-Duck
  • White-headed Steamer-Duck
  • Titicaca Grebe
  • Junin Grebe
  • Flightless Cormorant
  • King Penguin
  • Emperor Penguin
  • Adelie Penguin
  • Gentoo Penguin
  • Chinstrap Penguin
  • Yellow-eyed Penguin
  • Little Penguin
  • African Penguin
  • Humboldt Penguin
  • Galapagos Penguin
  • Magellanic Penguin
  • Fiordland Penguin
  • Erect-crested Penguin
  • Macaroni Penguin
  • Royal Penguin
  • Southern Rockhopper Penguin
  • Snares Penguin
  • Inaccessible Island Rail
  • Snoring Rail
  • Calayan Rail
  • Invisible Rail
  • Weka
  • New Caledonian Rail
  • Lord Howe Rail
  • Okinawa Rail
  • New Britain Rail
  • Woodford’s Rail
  • Guam Rail
  • Roviana Rail
  • Tasmanian Native-hen
  • Makira Moorhen
  • Gough Moorhen
  • Samoan Moorhen
  • Giant Coot (adults are flightless; juvenile birds can fly)
  • South Island Takahe
  • New Guinea Flightless Rail
  • Henderson Island Crake
  • Kakapo

Several other bird species have never been seen flying, but it has not been determined with certainty that they cannot fly.

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