Birds are naturally stylist. Their feathers come in an array of colors, textures, and shapes, and every now and then all the elements come together to form the perfect hairdo.
Some species have been graced with good hair for mating advantages, but regardless of the reason, all of these birds have head-turning tresses.
1 Dalmatian Pelican
Big Bird’s got nothing on the tousled feathers that top the Dalmatian pelican’s head. The largest of all pelican species, Dalmatian pelicans can weigh as much as 30 pounds and live in wetlands in Europe, the Mediterranean, and China.
The IUCN Red List classifies these birds as “near threatened,” as populations are decreasing due to the drainage of wetlands, land development, and illegal hunting.
2 Crested Partridge
This tropical ground bird is found in the damp rainforests of Southeast Asia, but is classified as “near threatened,” with a decreasing population due to forest destruction and trade. The male crested partridge has black feathers and sports a fluffy red pouf, while the female has green feathers and no pouf. Both have a bright red ring around their eyes.
3 Great Curassow
Check out those curls! If you think this bird’s crest indicates its attitude, you’d be right. The great curassow’s range stretches from Mexico to throughout Central America, and they reside primarily in lowland areas. A large game bird that can weigh up to 10 pounds, they are also considered “vulnerable,” with a decreasing population due to hunting and habitat loss.
4 Andean Cock-of-the-Rock
A surge of orange in the Andean cloud forests, this flashy male bird (whose name is “tunki” in Quechua) makes a show for the females during mating season. Like the Greasers of the 1950s, these coiffed males gather in groups to impress female birds with their hopping and dancing. After mating, these males don’t stay around to help rear chicks. It’s the national bird of Peru.
5 Himalayan Monal
The national bird of Nepal (where it is called a “danphe”), the male Himalayan monal has a pretty ponytail of iridescent rainbow feathers.
The female is less striking, with a brown body, blue eye patch, and white throat. Himalayan monals, a high-altitude species, have a wide range of calls and sounds that allow them to distinguish between aggression, alarm, and calls for mates.
6 Nicobar Pigeon
With its long locks that form a lion-like mane, the Nicobar is not your typical city pigeon. Believe it or not, this Southeast Asian species is the closest relative to the extinct dodo bird. These special pigeons are found in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Solomon Islands, and the Republic of Palau, where their numbers are decreasing and they are considered “near threatened.”
It can fly well and for significant distances, but it prefers to remain on the forest floor, foraging for food.
7 Eurasian Hoopoe
Donning a black-tipped mohawk, the hoopoe is the definition of cool. Its zebra- striped wings are unmistakeable as it flaunts its feathers in Africa, the Mediterranean, and throughout Europe and Asia. The hoopoe’s large range has prevented the species from reaching a vulnerable status.
They are found mainly in open areas, including pastures, orchards, and savannas—and you may be able to sniff out their nests, which reek from the stench of an antimicrobial secretion that the mother uses to paint her eggs. Once hatched, the babies “paint” the nest with feces.
8 Ornate Hawk-eagle
This eagle’s faux-hawk is perfectly feathered—and he needs no gel; the crest becomes prominent when this South American eagle is excited or aggressive. In flight, the ornate hawk-eagle makes itself known with a loud whistling call.
The bird is, however, able to remain inconspicuous when perched, which is important for successful hunting. It’s known to hunt down prey twice its size. The species is listed as “near threatened” with a decreasing population.
9 Sulphur-Crested Cockatoo
The expressive hairstyle of this large Australian parrot is almost larger than life—it can stretch over five inches in length. This cockatoo isn’t only known for its colorful hairdo, it also has a harsh screeching call that distinguishes it from birds with musical talent.
Sulphur-crested cockatoos are social birds, spending time in groups as they forage and keep a lookout for danger. These birds have been known to live as long as eighty years in captivity.
10 Silver Pheasant
A forest-dwelling bird of Southeast Asia, with a few populations introduced elsewhere around the world, the silver pheasant’s hair is accentuated by its vivid red mask.
Both male and female silver pheasants sport a red face and legs, while the male has a long white or silver tail and the female has a shorter brown tail. Adult pheasants reach their peak plumage in their second year, which is also when they reach peak fertility.