Birds With Long Necks

Birds With Long Necks

Birds come in all shapes and sizes. There are over 10,000 species of birds in the world, and every one of them is different.

Birds With Long Necks

For example, some birds have necks that are much longer than the necks of other birds. 

These can be in proportion on a taller bird; alternatively, they could also be comically long necks on an otherwise pretty small bird. Whichever it is, there are plenty of birds in the world with longer-than-average necks.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some different species of birds with long necks.

We’ll take a look at the normal to the interesting, and even the downright funny birds that have long necks. So let’s get started!

10 Species Of Birds With Long Necks

1. The Great Egret

The Great Egret

The great egret has a neck length between 15 inches and 20 inches, making it the longest-necked bird in the world.

This large wading bird stands up to two feet tall, and it is closely related to the heron (which you can tell by its stooped posture and S-shaped neck). 

The great egret is the largest egret species and can be found all over the world, with habitats ranging from Asia, North and South America, Africa, and is even starting to appear in Northern Europe.

2. The White Ibis

The White Ibis

This white ibis is another very common wading bird that lives in tropical climates around the world.

It is known for its long neck, which can make up a third of its body length.

This helps it hunt for fish in its habitat along rivers, which is how it gets its food. 

Another notable feature of the white ibis is its incredibly long beak, which can be just as long as its neck.

In flight, the white ibis stretches its long neck out fully.

3. Swans


Swans are well-known for their long necks. In fact, they are so iconic that swan’s necks are frequently used to describe many other things.

A “neck like a swan’s” is often seen as attractive or desirable in many cultures across the globe, while swan-neck flasks are a type of lab equipment designed and named after (you guessed it!) a swan’s neck. 

Swans typically have a neck measuring upwards of two feet, which makes them one of the longest-necked birds in the world.

This neck is usually curved forwards as the swan is swimming or nesting, and almost has the appearance of a large white snake.

4. Flamingos


One of the most recognizable birds in the world, flamingos are famous for several reasons.

Their most iconic feature is their bright pink feathers, which means that they stand out against any background and are instantly recognizable.

This is a result of their diet, as the shrimp and algae they eat cause the pink pigment in their plumage. 

However, they are also easily recognized by their long necks. This neck is easily as long as the rest of its body and means that they can gather food from the water without having to bend their body down. 

5. Cassowary


Cassowaries are native to Australia, New Guinea, and parts of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

They are one of the largest birds in the world, standing up to six feet tall. They are also flightless, and rely on their powerful legs to travel.

Cassowaries have long necks that are usually bent close to their large bodies; however, when a cassowary stretches its neck out it reveals the long neck it was previously hiding. 

Their neck is also extremely powerful, which makes it easier for the cassowary to attack and catch its prey.

Cassowaries are notoriously aggressive and dangerous birds, and their long neck just makes them an even more threatening bird to encounter.

6. Cormorants


Here’s another bird with a deceptively long neck. Cormorants are a type of waterbird that lives along coasts and rivers.

Their primary prey is fish, which they catch by diving beneath the surface of the water.

While a cormorant typically has a squat and hunched figure, this changes while they are diving. 

During a dive, the cormorant will stretch out its neck to improve its aerodynamics and make it easier to catch prey.

This means that although a cormorant might not look like it has a long neck when you see it, it’s hiding a neck that measures more than 10 inches!

7. Ostrich


Ostriches are among the heaviest living land animals. They weigh around 300 pounds, making them some of the heaviest birds in the world.

Ostriches use their powerful legs to defend themselves, but their necks are also quite impressive.

The ostrich’s neck is about three times longer than its body, giving it a very distinctive shape. 

It is believed that ostriches’ necks evolved over time to help them balance on the ground while eating leaves and grass, and especially while they are running (where they can reach speeds of 70 km/h!)

8. Emu


The emu is a large Australian bird, and one of the largest birds alive today. Emus are found throughout Australia and are flightless birds that rely on powerful legs and fast running.

They are similar to ostriches in many ways, including a long neck. 

However, emus tend to be smaller than ostriches. While an ostrich can reach up to 9 feet in height, emus typically only reach 6 feet maximum.

With that said, though, emus still boast a respectable neck length that helps them to fit right in among their taller relatives.

9. Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Turkey vultures are scavengers that live all over the world. They feed off carrion, so they are often seen circling above dead animals.

These birds are known for their long, thick necks. 

Their neck muscles are very strong and flexible, which combine with their long necks to allow them to turn their heads almost 180 degrees without losing sight of what they’re looking at.

This helps them to spot food on the ground that they can scavenge. As they eat, their long necks make it easier to avoid getting food and mess in their feathers.

10. Limpkin


This oddly-named species is a type of wading bird that lives in warmer regions of North and Central America.

Limpkins have a long thin neck, which is covered in soft downy feathers. It’s used as a balancing tool, allowing limpkins to keep their footing as it wades through water. 

When they feel threatened or need to escape danger, they raise their head and neck high into the air, creating the illusion of greater size and presence to deter predators.

Apart from their long necks, limpkins are known for their nocturnal calls, where they will cry out mournfully in the middle of the night.

Final Thoughts

These are just a handful of the many species of long-necked birds in the world. With so many species of birds in the world, there are countless variations between different species.

These are just a few of the species of birds in the world with long necks.

Birds can have long necks for many reasons, from helping them hunt to giving them extra balance.

Whatever the reason, these necks only make these birds more fascinating to learn about!