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The Highest Flying Birds in the World

 Being able to fly like a bird is something that nearly every human must dream of. Of course, we have planes that can travel at an altitude of 30,000-40,000 feet, but some birds can fly just as high. Below you’ll find the 10 highest flying birds in the world.
1. Andean Condor – 15000 Feet

The Andean condor is a massive raptor that lives in high peaks and grassy plains across South America. It can weigh up to 15 kg and has a wingspan that is close to 11 feet – the largest of any raptor in the world.

This bird is a symbol of health, liberty, and power and is also the national bird of Bolivia, Chile, Columbia, and Ecuador. Unfortunately, this majestic bird is now endangered due to habitat loss and over-hunting.

Andean condors are scavengers that feed mainly on carrion. They have fantastic eyesight and can spot carrion easily while gliding high in the sky. Their sharp hooked beak and powerful claws allow them to easily tear meat from carcasses.

2. White Stork – 16,000 Feet

White storks are a popular wading bird that are known for their distinctive long neck that can measure up to 45 inches. They can be found in the warmer regions across Europe and West-central Asia. These birds have a wingspan of 2.3 meters and their beautiful plumage comes mainly in white, hence the name.

During migration these birds form large flocks that can contain thousands of individuals.

3. Bar-Tailed Godwit – 20,000 Feet

Bar-tailed godwits breed in Alaska and Siberia and spend winter in Australia and New Zealand. During their epic journey from Alaska to the Southern Hemisphere, these birds cover around 11,000 kilometers without rest, making the journey in just 7-8 days. They are able to make this journey in such a short time due to the fact that they consume a lot less energy than other birds.

These birds are usually 14-16 inches tall and have a wingspan of around 31 inches. Their aerodynamic body shape ensures that they feel less air resistance.

4. Mallard – 21,000 Feet
Mallards can be found in Europe and North America and are notable for their iridescent-green head and bright yellow bill. Before the beginning of winter, mallards migrate south where the temperature is milder. They usually travel at an altitude of 1,000-4,000, but they have been seen flying at 21,000 feet.
5. Bearded Vulture – 24,000 Feet

This large species of vulture inhabits the mountainous areas of Southern Europe. They can reach a height of four feet and weight between 5-7 kg. Their wingspan can reach 2.5-2.7 meters, giving them the power to soar high above the mountains.

These birds are known as bone-eaters because they mainly feed on carcass bones. They swallow small bones whole, but if they find a big bone, they break it into smaller pieces by dropping it from a high height onto the rocks below.

6. Alpine Chough – 26,500 Feet

This is a medium-sized bird that lives in the mountains of Southern Europe and Central Asia. They are the highest nesting birds in the world, building their nests at an altitude of around 21,000 feet. They are perfectly adapted to life in the thin atmosphere.

These birds are amazingly agile and they can easily maneuver around the high mountain peaks.

7. Whooper Swan – 27,000 feet

This bird got its name from its whooping calls. They can be found in the flooded grasslands, lakes, and ponds of Southern Eurasia. They are notable for their long necks and yellow and black bills.

When they migrate they form large flocks that contain thousands of individuals. They usually fly at an altitude of 8,000 feet during migration, but they have been found flying at 27,000 feet.

8. Bar-Headed Goose – 29,000 Feet
These birds, named after the two dark bars on their head, are native to Central Asia and their higher than average lung capacity enables them to fly over the Himalayan peaks where air pressure is dramatically low. They also have more red blood cells, enabling them to increase their cardiac output during flight. They can fly 1,000 miles in a single day when migrating.
9. Common Crane – 33,000 Feet
Common cranes, also known as Eurasian cranes, live in the northern parts of Asia and Europe during the warmer months and migrate to Northern Africa during the colder months. This medium-sized bird has a wingspan between 1.8-2.4 meters. They usually form large V shape formations when they’re migrating.
10. Rupell’s Griffon Vulture – 37,000 Feet

This is the highest flying bird ever recorded. They are able to fly at such great heights due to the fact that their blood contains a special type of hemoglobin which makes oxygen intake more effective at high altitudes.

These birds are typical 1 meter in length and weigh between 7-9 kg. Their wingspan is usually somewhere between 2.3-2.5 meters. They can fly at speeds of 35 km/h and can stay in the air for hours at a time. Ruppell’s vultures are scavengers and can spot a dead carcass from great heights.

Source: themysteriousworld 

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