If you wondered, are there creatures with feathers that are not birds? The answer is no!
Birds are the only extant feathered animals. Examples of animals with feathers include peacocks, parrots, toucans, flamingos, mandarin ducks, rainbow lorikeets, and many others. Feathers mainly serve as a protection for the bird from bad weather and injuries, but it also plays an important role when attracting mates.
Unique to birds and their relatives, dinosaurs, feathers come in a variety of colors and variants. Feathers are made of the protein beta-keratin, and there are two main types.
Vaned feathers, which cover the exterior of the animal’s body, and down feathers which are below the vaned feathers.
In this article, we compiled a list of birds with stunning feathers which will take your breathe away.
List of 11 Animals With Feathers
Scientific Name: Pavo cristatus
When it comes to beauty, peacocks are the fashionistas of the animal kingdom – and they know it! Peacocks come in blue, green, and white feather variants.
While peahens come in different shades of brown – very uninteresting compared to their male counterparts. Blue peacocks are native to India, while green peacocks are native to Southeast Asia.
The feathers of these animals are 6 inches long. Blue peacocks weigh about 8.8 – 13 pounds, and green peacocks 8.8 – 11 pounds. Might seem heavy, but they can fly nonetheless.
Other birds on this list can boast of an array of vibrant colors, but the peacock’s feathers take it to the next level.
Not only are their feathers fluorescent, but a peacock’s feathers also look like they were decorated with eye-shaped ornaments. They captivate our eyes as much as they do their female counterparts during mating seasons.
At the beginning of January, peacocks shed their old feathers to grow back new, vibrant ones in time for the mating season – have to look fresh and fly for the ladies!
Every mating season, they’ll hold a fashion show, and the peacock with the prettiest jaw-dropping performance will mate any peahen of their choice. Peacocks are not in any way loyal; they can have at least five peahens as mates.
Read Also: Animals With Claws
Scientific Name: Psittaciformes
Parrots are adorable people-loving birds with very beautifully colored feathers. Green, yellow and blue are rampant parrot feather colors.
As you’ve already gathered from pirate movies, parrots are very intelligent birds that can talk as clear as humans if trained properly.
But unlike the pirate movies, parrots do not have their own words or a mind of their own. They respond to you based on how they’ve seen you talk to other people.
There are about 402 parrot species, and all 402 of them are brightly colored with amazing feathers. They mostly thrive in the tropical climate, and they can grow up to lengths of 3 to 4 inches, while their weight varies from 2.25 to 55 ounces.
These feathered animals are some of the most popular pet birds. They are fun, unpredictable, and harmless.
However, parrots can be very loud and sometimes might deliver your private conversations as a monologue to practically anyone.
Scientific Name: Psittacidae
Another animal with feathers which is also a parrot species is the macaw. However, their long tails set them apart from other parrots. But most importantly, macaws are very beautiful animals with feathers.
There are a lot of species of macaws but the blue, red, and yellow macaws are one of the most popular ones. Most macaws are named according to their colors.
The size and weight of a macaw vary from species to species: Hyacinths macaws weigh about 3.3 pounds and about 39 inches long, scarlet macaws 2.2 pounds and 37 inches, and blue and yellow macaws 3 pounds and 35 inches long and lots more.
Macaws are also as intelligent as parrots; they can mimic human speech. They are native to the tropics of north and south America.
All macaws are omnivores and will also eat all kinds of seeds, nuts, leave buds, and insects. Raptors or larger birds of prey, monkeys, and snakes are natural predators of macaws.
Scientific Name: Trichoglossus moluccanus
Rainbow lorikeets are beautiful birds with amazing colored feathers. The breast of a rainbow lorikeets is red colored with a little hint of yellow and orange colors, below its breast is a deep blue color and on the outer part of the body is a lush green.
An adult rainbow lorikeets weigh about 4 ounces and can grow to lengths of 12 inches.
Their colored feathers help them to blend into the environment and stay safe from potential predators. Their natural predators are hawks, pythons, and falcons.
Rainbow lorikeets bright colored bodies also are important to stand out to mates. They are monogamous, meaning they mate with and stick with one partner for the rest of their lives.
Lorikeets are frugivore animals, and they also love to eat nectar and pollen. They are native to Australia both in the forest and in urban areas.
Scientific Name: Cygnus olor
Elegant yet simple, mute swans have one of the most eye-pleasing feathers in the world. Weighing about an average of 88 pounds, they are the world’s fifth heaviest birds and second-largest swan.
However, an adult mute swan’s wing is about 4 feet long and very powerful. So flying is not a problem.
Although a mute swan’s feathers are not as colorful as other birds on this list, the quality of the plain white color is captivating. Its feathers are dense and therefore do a great job in insulating heat during cold weather.
Mute swans can be mute, as their name implies – but that is not the case most of the time. Mute swan parents are very protective of their young, therefore, if any threat is perceived, they’ll make an obnoxious – almost hissing sound that you’ll never believe came from this elegant bird.
They are usually not super aggressive most of the time, but if you get too close – especially with their kids – you’ll leave with a throbbing leg and a story.
These large birds eat submerged aquatic plants, fishes, and also insects. They are not often preyed on, but in cases where they are frail and old, foxes and coyotes are always lurking.
Mute swans are native to Europe and East Asia, but in the 1900s, they were introduced to North America mostly as pets or for lake aesthetics.
Victoria Crowned Pigeons
Scientific Name: Goura victoria
Victoria crowned pigeons are the redeemers of the pigeon family name that has been soiled by the ordinary everyday pigeons we see in the park or that are behind the splat of poop on our windows.
Victoria crowned pigeons do not have vibrant colors, but the feathers on the crown of their head set them apart from the crowd. Their blue lace-like crest is what sets them apart from other family members.
They are famed to be the supermodels of the bird kingdom – Victoria’s secret, hello?
Victoria crowned pigeons are native to New guinea. But they have been adapted to other islands close to New guinea. Generally, they are quite big pigeons, about feet tall, and weigh 5.5 pounds.
Related: Animals With Hooves
Scientific Name: Ramphastidae
Right from the crown of their head to the sole of their feet, toucans are brightly colored and have one of the most beautiful feathers among other birds.
Although toucans are made up of 42 different species, all native to South America, every one of them has differently patterned yet amazing feathers.
Toucans are very unique birds with their extraordinarily long bills. An average adult toucan weighs about 24 ounces and is 7 inches tall. But their bills alone are about 5 inches long – almost the same length as their bodies.
All species of these colored feathered animals are scattered around South America; in countries like Brazil, Colombia, and Paraguay. They are omnivores, and besides fruit, they will eat small birds or their eggs if the opportunity presents itself.
Scientific Name: Pharomachrus mocinno
The resplendent quetzal is one of the many species of quetzals in the Trogon family, and they have unique kinds of feathers.
This particular quetzal comes in one color mix, a red breast with a green body.
Resplendent quetzals weigh about 7 ounces and are about 16 inches tall – exclusive of the tail. Now, apart from its magnificent green and red colors, what makes them standout out is their 3.2 feet long tail.
Their tail can grow as long as 3 feet during mating season!
These birds live in high altitudes and mountainous forests, from southern Mexico to the coast of Western Panama.
They are natural predators of wasps and other insects, while, toucans, owls, and other hawks prey on them.
Scientific Name: Aix galericulata
Mandarin ducks are birds with very impressive feathers – the exact opposite of the popular duck we know.
The colors of its feathers are made up of grey, white cream, green, red, more orange, and black. Its beak too is also colored, a nice shade of orange with a little white at the rim.
Of course, a male Mandarin duck is more colorful than a female mandarin duck and weighs more than females. They weigh about 15 to 31 ounces and are 8 inches long on average.
Mandarin ducks love to spend their time doing nothing but cruising around in the water.
The feathers on the head of a mandarin duck look like a sleek haircut with the help of some gel to make it sleep back. The gel-looking substance is some sort of body oil that prevents water from soaking its skin.
As sleek and good-looking as they are, their meat is horrible, to say the least. However, snakes, eagles, and minks might find it delicious because they are their natural predators.
These birds are migratory birds that are native to China and Japan.
Scientific Name: Erythrura gouldiae
Unlike other birds, the Golden finch is not as loud, and they have one of the most beautiful rainbow-colored feathers. Put a few of them together, and it will look like a miniature carnival.
Gouldian finches weigh as much as 0.4 ounces in adulthood and are 0.5 feet tall – pretty much the definition of pocket size. They might be the perfect pet birds because they are less fussy and noisy.
However, they are not the ideal choice for a newbie bird owner. Gouldian finches are very sensitive. They are susceptible to illness, can get stressed out, and therefore do not like too much fuss or holding and they catch a cold much faster than other birds.
In the wild, they survive on grass seeds and insects only. But in captivity, Gouldian finches can tolerate fresh fruits, vegetables, and other types of seeds.
Scientific Name: Phoenicopterus
Speaking of animals with feathers, we must not forget pink-colored beauties. A flamingo’s feathers are recognizable by the striking pink color, which comes from the food they eat.
Namely, flamingos feed on algae and brine shrimps, which contain carotenoids (organic colored pigments). By feeding on food rich in carotenoids, their bodies metabolize the pigment, thus turning their feathers pink-colored.
The feathers on flamingos serve as skin protection and also assist the bird for flights. They also have 12 to 16 tail feathers which further aids in landing, and maneuvering in flight.
These long-neck animals are found in tropical regions of South America, the Middle East, and the Caribbean.