From the exotic flyers of South America to the grounded oddities of New Zealand and beyond, today we look at the Strangest Birds On Earth. Number 12. Kiwi Native to New Zealand, this odd, bristle-feathered bird is the smallest of the ratites, a family of flightless birds that also includes ostriches, emus, and cassowaries. This adorable critter seems to be somewhere between a rodent and a bird with its small stature, coarse feathering, and even whiskers to assist with its poor sight. Five different species of kiwi exist, all of which face threats from invasive predators, but all remain under close protection in reserves and national parks across the island nation. Number 11. Magnificent Frigatebird With its prominent, ruby red throat pouch, the magnificent frigatebird is a peculiar creature that stands out from other coastal birds that roam its home territory of Central and South America. The scarlet, balloon like protrusion is only found on males of the species and this sac plays an instrumental role in attracting mates during breeding seasons. These frigatebirds are dimorphic in gender, meaning females look very different from their male counterparts.Whereas the black and red individuals are male, female magnificent frigatebirds are white and brown with a blue tinge to their beaks and eyes. Once paired, these odd couples take turns incubating their egg until it hatches, at which point the father bird will take his crimson gullet back to the dating pool! Number 10. Sri Lanka Frogmouth Frogmouth birds are just as unusual as their names suggest. Their beaks are wide and short, as opposed to narrow and long like on most birds. Their eyes face forward to give them a widespread, binocular vision and these birds have slit-like nostrils. The majority of birds have an eye on either side of their head with small circular nostrils. The Sri Lanka Frogmouth in particular has small wings hidden against its brown, grey, or red plumage.But these curious traits come in handy when it comes time to hide. Slowly tilting its head upward and away, this type of bird can instantaneously camouflage in its treetop habitat, becoming the spitting image of a gnarled, broken branch. Individuals establish a single roost that they favor and continuously perch here for months, letting out unique calls throughout the south Indian and Sri Lankan wilderness every dusk and dawn. Number 9. Greater Lophorina With an elegant collar, a vibrant crown and matching chest display of plumage, it’s no wonder this animal is also called the greater superb bird-of-paradise.Of course, as a dimorphic species, this brilliant display is reserved for males and their courting efforts. This is because of the extreme disproportion in gender population among the species. This breeds an incredibly competitive spirit among the males, who will attempt to court a mate with a rhythmic dance of sorts, all while brandishing their fanciest feathers. Females will endure these displays for hours on end, only to reject the suitor and continue their search elsewhere, sometimes rejecting between 15 and 20 hopeful mates before finding the right one.For years it was thought there was only one species of the superb bird-of-paradise, but in 2017, scientists found there were actually three separate species, notable by slight variations in male plumage! Number 8. Long-Wattled Umbrellabird Brandishing a black, pompadour-esque feathering on the top of its head, it would seem as if its rockabilly-style features would be the most intriguing part of the long-wattled umbrellabird. But the strange endemic bird of Colombia and Ecuador surpasses that aspect with a unique characteristic in the form of its namesake.The long bouquet of plumage that drapes down from males of this species is called the wattle and can be expanded, relaxed, and even retracted while in flight. Like many birds, this over-the-top appendage is used for displaying worth to a potential mate, and they are generally used in competitive mating rituals among rival males. The long-wattled umbrellabird faces a vulnerable status among conservationists today, due mostly to extensive deforestation in its home habitat.Number 7. Andean Cock-of-the-Rock Equipped with a red-orange crest resembling a tuft of ginger hair, the Andean cock-of-the-rock is one gnarly looking bird. It makes its home in the cloud forests of the Andes mountains, with the whole of its native habitat spanning across Venezuela, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, & Peru, the last of which has named this creature to be their state bird. The males of this species are the only ones to sport such a uniquely vibrant coat and features, while females are typically more brown with smaller crests as well. The brilliantly colored males use their flamboyant appearance to attract mates during breeding seasons in gatherings called leks. Here the males challenge rivals to a competition of sorts, going head to head with a single opponent in a display of jumps, flaps, bows, beak snaps, grunts, and squaws.As females approach, the competitive nature intensifies, becoming a frenzied blur of escalating machismo. Unfortunately for the Andean cock-of-the-rock, these leks also attract the attention of predators alongside future mates. Creatures like hawks, falcons, jungle cats, and boa constrictors all might take the opportunity to pounce on one of these competitions at any time. Number 6. Oilbird Cave-dwelling, nocturnal, and subsistent on a diet of oil palm fruits, the oilbird is unique among birds. Making its nests in the northernmost region of South America, this strange bird is the only nocturnal flying bird that eats fruit.While their eyesight is specialized for better vision at night, they also employ the bat-like function of echolocation, making high-pitched clicks to navigate through exceptional darkness. Their nocturnally-adjusted eyes resemble those of deep-sea fish in structure, and just like those fish, they have a much more difficult time seeing in the daylight because of this. This works out, though, given their cavernous homes. They traverse these caves with the help of long, powerful wings allowing them to twist and hover about at low speeds, entering areas of their tunnelled sanctuaries they otherwise wouldn’t be able to access.These grottos protect the oilbird, granting it stability across South America with a modern conservation status of “Least Concern”. Number 5. Vulturine Guineafowl Resembling a turkey painted in Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period, this azure oddity is a species found in Africa and the largest of seven types of living guineafowl. It can grow up to just over two feet tall and is found anywhere from Ethiopia to Tanzania, sticking towards the northern sides of the continent. Named for its facial similarities to the infamous scavenger, the vulturine guineafowl is pretty much a pheasant from the neck down. For the most part, this creature is terrestrial, opting to run rather than fly more often than not.The sapphire bird avoids the openness of its dry, desert habitat by find bushes and trees to take cover in and roost. Vulturine guineafowls get by with a diet of mostly seeds, roots, tubers, grubs, insects, and other small invertebrates. They lay eggs in batches of 4 to 8 at a time, hidden neatly amid the savannah. The adolescent birds hatch with a grey-brown coat that develops into a vibrant blue over time and each has an average lifespan of 15 years. Number 4. Burrowing Owl Stretching across the Western Hemisphere is the habitat of one of one of the most unique owls in the world. From Southern Canada all the way down Argentina and Chile, you can find the burrowing owl swooping down on insects, squirrels, lizards, and more for sustenance. As its name suggests, this species makes its home in the ground rather than a top tree branches. This has proven especially beneficial in their proliferation as deforestation continues to plague the woodlands of South America.Burrowing owl populations in these regions have expanded greatly thanks to the new conditions favoring them. But just because they live in these burrows doesn’t mean they dig them up themselves. Instead they take the homes of squirrels or other small mammals, similar to the tactics of a rattlesnake. And that may very be where the burrowing owl learns its tricks since, when threatened, these birds will retreat to the safety of their burrow and make rattling and hissing noises, mimicking the reptilian predator. Number 3. Kakapo Leafy green and not too large, the kakapo of New Zealand is a rare and unique creature known for its incredibly long life span, among other things. Also called an owl parrot, the awkward, earthbound creature has the appearance of both other birds blended together.At around two feet in height and up to 9 pounds maximum weight, these birds aren’t especially intimidating. And for years, they didn’t need to be. With no major predators, the kakapo was able to thrive in its native habitat, evolving to become flightless with little defensive capabilities. It did develop a low metabolic rate though, which may be why they’ve been found to live for more than 90 years! But these evolutionary changes proved detrimental when foreign predators like rats, cats and dogs were introduced throughout history, dwindling the population down below 200 living, grown kakapo today. Number 2. Bee Hummingbird The world’s smallest bird measures less than two and a half inches long, on average, and can only be found on the islands of Cuba and Isla de la Juventud. Named for its petite size, just barely larger than a bee, this species of hummingbird only weighs 2.6 grams at the most. While its extremely small stature might give it the appearance of fragility, but what the bee hummingbird lacks in sturdiness it makes up in speed.Able to reach between twenty-five and thirty miles per hour, this species can beat its wings up to 80 times per second to maintain velocity and quickly juke and maneuver obstacles. Their incredible wing-power allows the to stop and turn on a dime and fly in any direction…even backwards and upside down! The iridescent-coated mini-birds feed on nectar and will visit as many as 1,500 flowers a day to get the flapping-fuel they’re constantly using up. Number 1. Hoatzin Sporting a narrow crown of spike-like feather growths, a blue face, and attractive multi-patterned coat, the South American hoatzin is mystical-looking creature. Making its home in the swamps, forests, and mangroves of the Amazon, this unique pheasant is surprisingly prolific despite its unique look.One contributing factor to its survival, though, probably comes from its diet. These birds feed on the leaves of plants, and ferments them in its innards, creating an unbearable odor, for both predators and people alike, earning it nicknames like the stinkbird and the skunk bird. .