Birds are an incredibly diverse animal group. This is reflected in every aspect of their anatomy, as you can see in this short list of facts about the bodies of birds.


Tallest bird – Ostrich at 9 ft (2.7 m)

Smallest bird – Bee Hummingbird at 2.24 inches (5.7 cm)


Longest legs – Ostrich

Longest legs relative to body length – Black-necked Stilt at 9 inches (23 cm), which is 60% of its height.

Shortest legs – virtually non-existent in Swifts

Longest toes relative to body length – Northern Jacana at 4 inches (10 cm)


Longest bill – Australian Pelican at 18.5 inches (47 cm)

Longest bill relative to body length – Swordtailed Hummingbird at 4.13 inches (10.5 cm)

Shortest bill – Glossy Swiftlet, at just a few tenths of an inch

Largest and fleshiest tongue – Flamingo.

Longest tongue relative to body size –  Wryneck (at two-thirds of its body length, excluding the tail)


Greatest number of feathers – Whistling Swan with 25,216

Lowest number of feathers – Ruby-throated Hummingbird with 940

Source of these facts: The Bird Almanac, by Dr. David M. Bird