At present, it is not that difficult to spot birds that have long necks and legs. However, these birds are only spotted in specific areas across the globe.
Their long necks and legs are an adaptation that allows them to survive in wet environments, which is why many of us have never seen such a bird with majestically long necks and legs.
The primary reason behind the popularity of average birds is that they can accommodate well in an urbanized environment. However, birds with long legs and necks choose to live in the wild, so they are not sighted frequently compared to those of average size.
There are quite a few birds with long necks and legs seen in the wild and natural environments. These include Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, Limpkin, White Faced Ibis, American Flamingo, Black Headed Heron, Cattle Egret, and Jabiru.
To adapt to the changing climate and environment, most of the birds have evolved. For example, they now have smaller sizes compared to their ancestors.
However, those Birds who had comparatively larger necks and legs could not adapt well to the urbanized environment, so they chose to remain in the wild. There are several species of birds that have long necks and legs; read on to learn more about them.
Great egrets are the kind of birds that are very selective about their habitat. These long-necked birds are mostly found around freshwater wetlands, including ponds, rivers, lakes, and swamps.
They are commonly found in North and South America; however, they can be spotted anywhere around New York all the way to Texas and Brazil.
These thin-looking birds have very few feathers on their head, and they have long legs along with long necks. In addition, they do not possess a vibrant color and rather have overall white plumage with yellow bills and completely black legs.
They primarily feed on small animals like frogs, small fish, and animals found around water sources like ponds, lakes, and swamps.
Some of the Great Egrets also feed on crustaceans and insects. These birds weigh around 1.5 to 3.2 lb, and they are about 3.3 feet tall. However, unlike most small birds, they have a wingspan of about 4.3-4.7feet.
Great blue herons are great fishers, which is why they are mainly spotted around the shoreline doing their most favorite task—fishing!
They are very patient as they wait for the sight of their prey. Once they spot their meal, they will stretch out their huge-sized wings to make a quick catch.
The great blue Heron is one of the most majestic looking birds; they are tall and can be found anywhere around North America. They have grey-blue colored plumage on most of their body along with wide and long wings.
Usually, birds have different colorations according to their gender. However, both of the great blue Herons have the same coloration.
In addition, male and female great blue herons do have a significant difference, and that is the male Heron are larger than the females. Another difference between male and female great blue herons is that male ones have longer feathers on their head, known as plumes.
This type of Heron also prefers living on the wetlands and feeds on small fish, mice, insects, and snakes.
DID YOU KNOW?
Great blue herons can eat almost anything that comes within their striking range by using their long and strong beaks. They primarily consume fish. However, these large-sized birds can consume almost anything, including insects and small mammals.
Although Snowy egret has a different name, they are a type of Heron. Herons are birds that primarily feed on small fish and live near freshwater sources like ponds and lakes.
They are also found around saltwater, swamps, and estuaries and can easily be spotted mainly in areas around the North American coastline, Central and South America.
Like other Egrets, Snowy Egrets also do not have vibrant colors and only have white plumage. These gorgeous-looking birds have black bills along with long-thin black legs.
However, the feet are yellow. They also have sharp claws that help them during hunting fish, shrimps, crabs, and insects. Snowy egrets weigh around 0.6-0.8 pounds and are very lightweight.
This bird is a type of Heron that lives in North America. These herons have long legs and dark blue plumage that gives them a beautiful and elegant appearance.
Only the upper parts are blue-gray, while the underparts are purely white. Just like all the other mentioned birds here, they also have long necks.
Apart from their simple white and blue-gray color plumage, they have two reddish-brown rows of plums on their heads and neck whenever it’s their breeding season.
They are native to the United States and can be found living primarily in southern Louisiana, Mississippi, and the coastal marshes of Florida as well.
Tricolored Heron mostly prefers to eat at night, and they can be spotted mostly fishing for food around the wetlands. They can also be seen around two rivers or estuaries.
The whooping crane is also a tall bird with long thin legs and a long neck. They have a beautiful-looking red crown along with a long bill. The overall color of the whooping crane is greyish white, and most of its feathers are white or grey.
These birds are mostly found on the coast of Louisiana and Texas. Among all of the other birds mentioned above, whooping cranes are one of the rarest.
Only 600 whooping cranes are alive to this date. Most of these birds live in North America, including parts of Mexico and Canada; however, they are also found in the United States.
These birds mostly eat berries and other plants, but only if they find them. In most cases, they prefer eating fish, just like egrets and herons. They are most commonly seen around marshes and ponds.
White-faced Ibis has a white face with a gracefully white bill. These gorgeous birds have brownish copper-colored plumage, long necks, and long, slender legs.
A beautiful shade of green with a tinge of copper is deposited throughout its body. They are most often seen in Central America, South America, North America, and South Africa.
Like most other long-necked birds, White-Faced Ibis also inhabits swarms, wetlands, muddy soil, or shallow water. They live near wetlands because they feed on small fish, insects, crustaceans, shrimps, and reptiles. These birds weigh around 1- 1.2 pounds, and they have a wingspan of about 3 feet.
The scientific name of Limpkin is Aramus Guarauna, and they prefer living in solitude. They can be seen on open grounds. However, it is hard to notice them as they roost discreetly in thick greenery and can be spotted when they are out in the open looking for food.
This long-necked bird is a migratory water Bird. Limpkin breed is commonly spotted in the Southeastern United States, and they spend their winters in Southern coastal areas of Florida. Due to an inevitable decrease in the population size, range, and habitat degradation, this species has been classified as threatened.
It has been seen that they have tough competition with other wetland-dependent birds. You can identify these birds by their dark brown feathers all over the body patterned in a particular manner.
They also have distinctive point patterns and elongated necks. They are majorly found in mangrove swamps and salt marshes. Limpkins feed on crabs, oysters, mollusks, and insects.
DID YOU KNOW?
Unlike most of the birds currently, there is no official study conducted on the population of the Limpkin yet. However, it is apparent that they are found in abundance and fall under the category of ‘most minor concern’ by the IUCN
The American flamingos are the ‘brightest’ colored birds among all other breeds of flamingos. The bird has a combination of striking red, pink, or orange color spread over its legs, beak, and face.
American Flamingo is one of the most popular among long-legged and long-necked birds. They have extraordinarily long legs with pink or peach color feathers that make them look attractive and eye-catching.
They are primarily found in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Florida. They live around wetland habitats, including ponds, rivers, and salt marshes.
Some types of American Flamingo prefer to live on dry land like beaches and mudflats. The ones that live in dryland prefer eating algae scraped off from things around such an area.
They have well-adapted bills for doing this scrapping job to eat algae. In addition, they are mainly found in flocks and colonies.
These long-necked birds are significant because of their unusual coloring of feathers. They have bright red color on their feathers with pinkish color skin, which makes them look extraordinary. They are also primarily found near wetlands, shallow ponds, or coastal regions of Caribbean islands or the Southeastern United States.
Scarlet ibis’s areas to breed include Eastern Texas, North Carolina, Southern United States, and the Caribbean. They make sure that they nest in colonies around lakes or ponds with adequate vegetation for better protection from predators like snakes and alligators.
Quote: The Sandhill Crane is loyal to their chosen partners because they mate for life. They also have a courtship dance which allows them to go about the mating process. During this dance, they make moves, jump and bob their heads. They also stretch their wings for about 7 feet of width.
Sandhill crane is a large-sized bird that can be found in various areas of North America. These giant-sized birds have light grey plumage along with a tint of cinnamon shade.
In addition, they are migratory birds, and you may find them visiting from November to March. They can be migrating to different parts of Canada, Central America, South America, and Mexico for winters.
Since these birds are large, they also have a vast wingspan extending to about six feet. Not only large, but it is also one of the enormous wingspans among living bird species.
Sandhill cranes usually prey on frogs, fish, and small insects in shallow water. They are also seen around agricultural areas and in open fields or grasslands with a bunch of trees.
DID YOU KNOW?
During the migration season, you can see about 75% of the total population of these elegant-looking birds along the Platte River, which is stretched for about 75 miles in Nebraska. However, the most ancient fossil of this bird was found in Florida, about 2.5 million years old.
Birds are astonishing creatures; they come in different shapes and sizes. Their distinct characteristics make them unique and serve as a treat for our eyes.
In addition, their pop of color in nature is spectacular, but what’s interesting is that these birds have significantly varying shapes and sizes.
The birds discussed above look incredible with their extended necks and long legs. They can be found across continents, depending on their preferred habitat.
You’d be lucky if you came across one of these birds on a regular day. However, if you want to know more about unique birds with mind-blowing characteristics, you should check this post out to know whether flamingos can fly or not.
My name is Inigo and I'm the the founder of Bird Watching USA! I started Bird Watching with My father-in-law many years ago, and I've become an addict to watching these beautiful creatures. I've learnt so much over about bird watching over the years that I want to share with the world everything I know about them!
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