Largest-Wingspan Birds in the World

Great Egret

The Great Egret breeds throughout the United States, but is most often seen along the Atlantic shore. They're noted for the gorgeous plume they grow during breeding season and were nearly hunted to extinction for it.

Great Blue Heron

Blue Blue-gray back, black, grey, and white underside. They consume little fish in water, but anything else. Its roughly twice-its-length wingspan helps it maintain a constant flight path.


Limpkin is a large, ibis-like swamp bird. Main habitats are peninsular Florida and southern Mexico. They prefer wooded, brushy freshwater swamps east of the Andes but not below the Equator.

Snowy Egret

Oregon, Arizona, Virginia, and Mexico are home to nesting Snowy Egrets. They hunt in marshes, swamps, and mudflats. During breeding season, male Snowy Egrets grow long lacy plumes.


Jabiru is a large bird. Jabiru soars on thermals and updrafts with strong, slow wing beats and short glides. They're common in Brazil and Paraguay, but also in neighbouring countries.

Wood Stork

The Wood Stork lives in Florida, Georgia, and Texas. It's not a migratory bird and has been spotted in California and Massachusetts. They spawn in cypress swamps, but due to human pressure, they're shifting to mangrove swamps.

Goliath Heron

It's the world's largest living heron. It's highly aquatic and rarely strays far from water, as water provides more updrafts for flying. It hunts in shallow water but has also been seen in deep water over plants.

 Sandhill Crane

The Sandhill Crane is known for its crimson head patch and white cheek patches. Unlike the Great Blue Heron, the Sandhill Crane flies with its neck extended.


Shoebills are sometimes dubbed whalehead storks because of their shoe-shaped bills. It looks like a stork, but it's related to pelicans and other four-toed birds. Their size scares crocodiles away.

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