36 Unique Birds With Long Necks

Unique birds with long neck

When you think of birds with long necks, you probably only picture flamingos, cranes, and swans. However, did you know that there are actually many more types of avians out there with longer necks than those three?

Interestingly, these birds have evolved this feature for many reasons. For one, it allows them to be more efficient in their hunting methods; they can easily swoop down on unsuspecting prey from above.

In this article, we’ll introduce you to 36 unique birds with long necks that you might not have known about. Pictures are also included so you can see how long their necks really are!

36 Birds With Long Necks

1. American Flamingo

American Flamingo with long neck
Scientific Name:Phoenicopterus ruber
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:47–57 in (119.4–144.8 cm)
Weight:4–8 lbs (1.8–3.6 kg)
Wingspan:50–60 in (127–152.4 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 60 years

The American Flamingo tops our list of long-necked birds. These pink beauties are native to the warm climates of Florida, where their elongated necks serve as a natural adaptation for survival.

As per the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, these birds use their long napes to their advantage when it comes to hunting.

Specifically, they gracefully wade through shallow waters, feeding on aquatic invertebrates, algae, and tiny seeds.

But a fascinating aspect of the American Flamingos’ appearance is their pink hue, which is directly linked to the high β-carotene content in their diet.

Fun Fact: American Flamingos gather in large groups known as creches or flocks. These creches can number up to 360,000 individual birds.

2. Black-Necked Stork

Black Stork with long neck
Scientific Name:Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus
Conservation Status:Near-Threatened
Size:47.2–59.1 in (120–150 cm)
Weight:8.4–9 lbs (3.9–4.1 kg)
Wingspan:74.8–90.6 in (190–230 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 30 years

Commonly known as Jabiru, the Black-necked Stork is distinguished by its impressive long neck. These birds grace the landscapes of the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and parts of Australia.

Regarding habitat, these members of the Ciconiidae family find solace in freshwater wetlands, like swamps and dams. Yet, their existence extends to the paddocks and woodlands, too.

Temperament-wise, Black-necked Storks are not the most gregarious birds. They are typically seen alone, in pairs, or in small family groups, which emphasize a more solitary lifestyle.

On another note, their diet is varied, as observed in a study conducted in New South Wales. These storks feed on a range of small insects and mollusks to larger prey like eels, birds, and reptiles.

Watch this clip to see what Black-necked Storks look like in action:

Meet the Black Necked Stork/Jabiru | Wild Australia

3. Wattled Crane

Wattled Crane with long neck
Scientific Name:Bugeranus carunculatus
Conservation Status:Vulnerable
Size:47.2–68.9 in (120–175 cm)
Weight:14–20 lbs (6.4–9.1 kg)
Wingspan:90–102 in (228.6–259.1 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 30 years

Notable for its long white neck, the Wattled Crane holds the title of the largest crane in Africa. As a matter of fact, they can stand nearly six feet tall.

Furthermore, these birds are easily recognized by their namesake feature: the white wattles that hang from their throat.

With regard to habitat, Wattled Cranes inhabit wetlands and grasslands. They feed mainly on aquatic vegetation, supplemented by seeds, tubers, rhizomes, small reptiles, and insects.

However, it is worth noting that the conservation status of these cranes is a growing concern. The IUCN Red List classifies them as “Vulnerable.”

Fun Fact: Wattled Cranes are known for their elaborate breeding displays. They engage in a series of behaviors such as bowing, jumping, and even tossing plants, which are made all the more dramatic by their long necks.

4. Tricolored Heron

Tricolored Heron with long neck
Scientific Name:Egretta tricolor
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:22–26 in (55.9–66 cm)
Weight:12–14 oz (340.2–396.9 g)
Wingspan:36–38 in (91.5–96.5 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 22 years

Another bird with a long neck is the Tricolored Heron. They were once known as Louisiana Herons, which is a reference to one of the states where they are most commonly found. 

While these birds frequent many habitats, research discovered that they lay more eggs in freshwater than in estuarine or marine areas.

Further, the same study stressed that their chicks are more likely to thrive in freshwater. This suggests that while they can adapt to various conditions, they prefer the conditions that non-saline ecosystems provide.

In addition, Tricolored Herons are solitary hunters, usually found patrolling their feeding territories alone to catch fish.

Fun Fact: A unique survival tactic of these herons is their ability to camouflage themselves from predators. When threatened, they stand tall and stiff and blend into their surroundings with their bills pointing skyward.

5. Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill with long neck
Scientific Name:Platalea ajaja
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:32–34 in (81.3–86.4 cm)
Weight:2.6–4 lbs (1.2–1.8 kg)
Wingspan:50–53 in (127–134.6 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 15 years

Easily recognizable by its elongated neck, the Roseate Spoonbill is celebrated for its vivid pink feathers, red eyes, and unique spoon-shaped bill.

Yet, note that these striking birds stand out not just for their appearance but also for their fascinating feeding mechanisms.

For instance, Roseate Spoonbills share a colorful commonality with the American Flamingo; their pinkishness is a direct result of their diet, which is rich in shrimp.

While currently not considered endangered, Roseate Spoonbills are facing new challenges from climate change. Rising sea levels in Florida Bay force them to forage in new areas.

Fun Fact: Surprisingly, Roseate Spoonbill chicks are born without their trademark spoon-shaped beaks. It’s only when they start foraging on their own that their bills begin to take on such a shape.

6. Great Egret

Great Egret with long neck
Scientific Name:Ardea alba
Size:36–39 in (91.4–99.1 cm)
Weight:2–2.5 lbs (0.9–1.1 kg)
Wingspan:55 in (139.7 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 22 years

Scientifically known as Ardea alba, the Great Egret is another avian species boasting a long neck. These birds are also iconic for their overall white plumage, lanky bodies, and black-tinted legs.

Breeding season for Great Egrets begins in mid-April, although the timing can shift with the weather. They typically produce a clutch of 4 to 5 greenish-blue eggs, which both parents incubate for about 23 to 24 days

Regarding diet, these birds feed mainly on crustaceans and fish from shallow waters. However, they are opportunistic creatures that will feast on any food they can find — insects included.

Fun Fact: At one point, Great Egrets nearly became extinct. In the 1800s, their plumes were highly sought after by hunters. Thankfully, the National Audubon Society intervened, spearheading efforts that saved these birds.

7. Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron with long neck
Scientific Name:Ardea herodias
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:38–54 in (96.5–137.2 cm)
Weight:5–6 lbs (2.3–2.7 kg)
Wingspan:66–79.2 in (167.6–201.2 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 25 years

With its sweeping long neck, the Great Blue Heron is a versatile inhabitant of diverse waters. In particular, these birds can be found from the subtropical mangroves to the rugged coasts of southern Alaska.

Their diet is as broad as their habitat. They primarily feast on fish but will also consume insects, amphibians, crustaceans, and other small animals.

In terms of how they get their meals, though, Great Blue Herons spend the majority of their waking hours stalking prey, their long neck coiled like a spring, ready to unleash at lightning speed.

Fun Fact: These herons are monogamous but only for a year. Annually, they choose a new mate and raise one family — in short, they do not mate for life with one partner.

8. Whooping Crane

Whooping Crane with long neck
Scientific Name:Grus americana
Conservation Status:Endangered
Size:60 in (152.4 cm)
Weight:13.2–17.2 lbs (6–7.8 kg)
Wingspan:84–96 in (213.4–243.8 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 40 years

A striking North American native, the Whooping Crane is known for its long neck. These birds also exhibit yellow eyes, black primaries, and a distinctive large, red-colored patch on their heads.

Sadly, they are now considered endangered, though. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service estimates a population of only around 550 Whooping Cranes remaining today.

This critical status has mobilized conservationists and researchers to fight for their survival.

In fact, efforts detailed in “Whooping Cranes: Biology and Conservation” explore various strategies to safeguard these birds.

9. Goliath Heron

Goliath Heron with long neck
Scientific Name:Ardea goliath
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:47–60 in (119.4–152.4 cm)
Weight:8.8–11 lbs (4–5 kg)
Wingspan:73–91 in (185.4–231.1 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 23 years

Aptly named for its towering presence, the Goliath Heron is the largest heron in existence. As a matter of fact, these long-necked avians can reach a maximum size of 60 inches.

Preferring the shallow margins of lakes, lagoons, and rivers, Goliath Herons have adapted their hunting style to these environments.

Specifically, they are known for their “jackpot” feeding strategy — patiently waiting to catch large, substantial fish like Barbels and Grunters.

Fun Fact: These herons are praised for their patience. They spend about 75% of their time motionless, patiently waiting to catch just two or three big fish daily.

10. Greater Flamingo

Greater Flamingo with long neck
Scientific Name:Phoenicopterus roseus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:46.8–56.4 in (118.9–143.3 cm)
Weight:4.6–9 lbs (2.1–4.1 kg)
Wingspan:55–67 in (139.7–170.2 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 40 years

Famous for its statuesque neck, the Greater Flamingo is a familiar sight across Africa, southern Europe, and Asia.

These birds are also known for their thriving populations — and it seems their success may be partly due to their remarkable parenting approach.

A 2017 study revealed a surprising aspect of their behavior: both mothers and fathers are dedicated to brooding. But it’s the males that often take the lead in incubation and defending the nest, a rare trait among birds.

Personal observations confirm these findings. During a visit to a nature reserve, I watched in fascination as the male flamingos took turns sitting on the nests, with their long necks craning protectively over the eggs.

In addition, I noticed how sociable these birds are. They seem quite comfortable with each other compared to other species whose aggression levels are higher than average.

11. Marabou Stork

Marabou Stork with long neck
Scientific Name:Leptoptilos crumenifer
Size:48–60 in (121.9–152.4 cm)
Weight:10–20 lbs (4.5–9.1 kg)
Wingspan:126–144 in (320–365.8 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 25 years

The Marabou Stork stands out in the bird world for more than just its long neck. Known for their giant dagger-like beaks and bare, pink heads that look sunburned, these birds have an intimidating appearance.

As scavengers, Marabou Storks retain a diet that sets them apart from their fish-eating relatives. They mainly consume carrion, which keeps ecosystems clean of animal carcasses.

They are also famous for eating other birds, including doves, pigeons, and even the chicks of other large avians, such as pelicans.

Habitat-wise, these storks live in wetlands with abundant trees and shrubs for nesting materials. But they can also be found on open grasslands and near human habitation.

12. Scarlet Ibis

Scarlet Ibis with long neck
Scientific Name:Eudocimus ruber
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:22–30 in (55.9–76.2 cm)
Weight:1.5–3 lbs (0.7–1.4 kg)
Wingspan:20–22 in (50.8–55.9 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 33 years

Up next is the Scarlet Ibis, a bird with a long neck that is native to South America.

Basically, these avians’ scarlet tint, which contrasts with the black tips of their wings, is a natural result of their diet, too. The more crabs and crustaceans they eat, the brighter their feathers become.

However, note that they are also known for consuming other things like lizards, frogs, fish eggs, insects, and even small snakes.

Being social creatures, Scarlet Ibises are often seen mingling in large flocks. Yet, when it comes to mating, they are monogamous, meaning they partner with only one companion for life.

Fun Fact: This species is the national bird of Trinidad and Tobago.

13. Tundra Swan

Tundra Swan with long neck
Scientific Name:Cygnus columbianus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:36–54 in (91.4–137.2 cm)
Weight:13–20 lbs (5.9–9.1 kg)
Wingspan:72–84 in (182.9–213.4 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

Characterized by its elegant long neck, the Tundra Swan is a marvel of the Arctic region. These birds are adept at surviving in harsh, cold environments, using their long napes to navigate and forage in icy waters.

Moreover, they exhibit a unique feeding behavior known as “dabbling.” To be specific, they dip their heads underwater or upend completely — tails up — to reach plants and small creatures up to three feet below the surface.

In terms of reproduction, female Tundra Swans produce roughly four eggs and incubate them for 32 days. On the other hand, males are responsible for guarding their mate and the nest during this time.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Tundra Swans are also called “Whistling Swans?” This name comes from the distinctive sound their wings make when flapping.

14. Cattle Egret

Cattle Egret with long neck
Scientific Name:Bubulcus ibis
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:19–21 in (48.3–53.3 cm)
Weight:9.5–18.3 oz (269.3–518.8 g)
Wingspan:34–36 in (86.4–91.4 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

Generally, the Cattle Egret is a bird with a neck that often appears deceptively short due to its hunched posture. They frequent grasslands, woodlands, and wetlands, seamlessly adapting to each.

Interestingly, Cattle Egrets have a dual relationship with agriculture. They are often seen in pastures and croplands, where they act as pest control agents. 

On the other hand, in naturally grazed habitats, they can also play the role of harmful predators.

Additionally, their social behavior is notable; these egrets thrive in groups and have been observed engaging in communal roosting and foraging.

15. Black Swan

Black Swan with long neck
Scientific Name:Cygnus atratus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:43–56 in (109.2–142.2 cm)
Weight:8.1–20 lbs (3.7–9.1 kg)
Wingspan:63.6–78 in (161.5–198.1 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 40 years

Immediately distinguishable by its curved long neck, the Black Swan defies the typical swan coloration with its striking black plumage.

These waterbirds’ appearance is further enhanced by their white wingtips and reddish-orange beaks. Ultimately, this stunning color combination makes them a captivating sight in the bird kingdom.

Adapting to life in both temperate and tropical wetlands, as well as sheltered estuaries and maritime habitats, Black Swans use their long necks to forage in water up to one meter deep.

In addition, their diet primarily consists of algae and weeds, which is a testament to their herbivorous nature.

Fun Fact: While Black Swans are adept swimmers, they’re less graceful on land — they often appear awkward and clumsy when trying to walk or run.

16. Black-Headed Heron

Black Headed Heron with long neck
Scientific Name:Ardea melanocephala
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:33.5 in (85 cm)
Weight:24.3–25.8 oz (690–730 g)
Wingspan:59.1 in (150 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 5 years

Adorned with a long neck, the Black-headed Heron is a native spectacle of sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar.

However, note that these birds’ coloration provides further identification. Their heads and napes are dark, contrasting with white-tinted throats, grey upper wings, and striking black and white underwing feathers.

A deep look into their diet reveals a wide range of prey: rodents, beetles, small lizards, crabs, snakes, frogs, fish, grasshoppers, and other arthropods. This just shows how adaptable these herons are.

Fun Fact: Both male and female Black-headed Herons are involved in creating their nests. Specifically, the males are the gatherers of twigs and branches, while the females are the architects.

17. Double-Crested Cormorant

Double Crested Cormorant with long neck
Scientific Name:Nannopterum auritus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:27–33 in (68.6–83.8 cm)
Weight:3.3–6.6 lbs (1.5–3 kg)
Wingspan:45–52 in (114.3–132.1 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 23 years

Coming up is the long-naped Double-crested Cormorant. These birds are versatile in their habitat choices. They thrive along coasts, bays, lakes, rivers, and cliffs.

Diet-wise, while Double-crested Cormorants consume insects, crustaceans, and amphibians, fish constitute their primary source of nutrition.

During the breeding season, there’s a striking shift in their appearance: the skin on their throat turns a vivid orange. This colorful transformation is a sharp contrast to their typically dark feathers.

Fun Fact: Double-crested Cormorants are like the elite divers of the bird world. They can hold their breath for several minutes and plunge up to 150 feet deep to snag a fishy meal.

18. Kori Bustard

Kori Bustard with long neck
Scientific Name:Ardeotis kori
Conservation Status:Near-Threatened
Size:24–60 in (61–152.4 cm)
Weight:24–42 lbs (10.9–19.1 kg)
Wingspan:92.4–108 in (234.7–274.3 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 28 years

Roaming the expanses of grasslands and wooded savannahs, the Kori Bustard boasts a robust long neck that complements its status as Africa’s heaviest flying bird.

In particular, these avians are capable of reaching weights up to 42 pounds, a feat indicative of their adaptability and ability to balance hefty frames with the power of flight.

Although insects are a staple during their chick phase, their palate expands as they grow to include small mammals, lizards, snakes, seeds, and wild berries.

Yet, it should be noted that these birds are currently on the decline. The IUCN has classified them as “Near-Threatened.”

Fun Fact: A notable quirk of Kori Bustards is their unique drinking method. Unlike their avian counterparts that scoop water, these birds suck water.

19. Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron with long neck
Scientific Name:Egretta caerulea
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:22–29 in (55.9–73.7 cm)
Weight:10.4–14.5 oz (294.8–411.1 g)
Wingspan:39–41 in (99.1–104.1 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 14 years

At first glance, the Little Blue Heron’s long neck might be missed due to its often hunched stance. However, when these birds are on the hunt, their neck is unmistakable, gracefully stretching as they search for prey.

Beyond their elongated napes, though, they are known for their dark slate-blue feathers, purple-maroon heads and necks, and skinny legs.

On another note, Little Blue Herons adopt a slow and methodical approach to foraging. They quietly wade over shallow waters — swamps, estuaries, ponds, lakes, and rivers — in search of food.

Specifically, their diet includes mainly fish, insects, shrimp, and amphibians.

Fun Fact: Despite often being spotted alone, Little Blue Herons enjoy company during certain times. They breed in communal nesting sites known as rookeries and roost at night in large flocks.

20. Purple Heron

Purple Heron with long neck
Scientific Name:Ardea purpurea
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:30.7–38.1 in (78–96.8 cm)
Weight:1.4–2.7 lbs (0.6–1.2 kg)
Wingspan:47.2–59.8 in (120–152 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 23 years

Another species graced with a long neck is the Purple Heron. These birds are year-round residents across Asia and Africa. They’re particularly iconic for their napes that extend into an unusual “S” shape in flight.

Generally, males and females of this species lack sexual dimorphism. Both genders exhibit purple-brown plumage with slate-grey wings, a reddish-brown breast, a black belly, and reddish-purple flanks.

Notoriously secretive, Purple Herons are the quiet keepers of their habitats. They blend seamlessly into their surroundings, communicating sparingly, if at all.

This reserved behavior is part of their survival strategy, which in turn allows them to remain unnoticed by both prey and predators.

Fun Fact: Purple Herons swallow their prey whole and possess a highly efficient digestive system. Interestingly, undigestible parts of their meals, like bones and fur, are expelled as pellets.

21. Common Ostrich

Common Ostrich with long neck
Scientific Name:Struthio camelus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:68.4–108 in (173.7–274.3 cm)
Weight:198–287 lbs (89.8–130.2 kg)
Wingspan:78.7 in (200 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 70 years

Related to cassowaries and rheas, the Common Ostrich stands out with a long neck and a formidable presence. Known for their aggressive and territorial behavior, these birds command respect in their natural habitat.

However, a 2018 article highlighted that Common Ostriches, when accustomed to humans from a young age, exhibit less stress during interactions.

This behavioral adaptation was evident during my visit to an ostrich farm. The birds were noticeably calmer and even approached us curiously, which is something you would not have expected from such a fierce species.

I also had the chance to spend time with wild ostriches as part of a research project. During this time, I observed how quickly they could run for cover if intimidated by predators; they can sprint up to 43 miles per hour.

22. Grey Heron

Grey Heron with long neck
Scientific Name:Ardea cinerea
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:35–39 in (88.9–99.1 cm)
Weight:3.3–4.4 lbs (1.5–2 kg)
Wingspan:68.9–76.8 in (175–195 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 23 years

Also known scientifically as Ardea cinerea, the Grey Heron stands out with its stately long neck. These birds are native across continents, from the waterways of Europe and Asia to the wetlands of Africa.

During the day, Grey Herons are fiercely independent. They diligently defend their feeding territories and do not shy away from confrontations to protect their catch.

However, note that this solitary nature contrasts sharply with their communal roosting habits at night. In particular, they gather in trees or on cliffs to sleep, which reveals their sociable side.

As one of the largest members of their family, these birds can reach up to 39 inches in height. Their size is especially advantageous for hunting, with their long necks serving as a tool to strike swiftly at fish.

Fun Fact: After a successful catch, Grey Herons have a unique way of eating: tossing fish into the air and catching it head-first. This ensures that the scales and fins do not plug their throats.

23. Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane with long neck
Scientific Name:Grus canadensis
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:38.4–46.8 in (97.5–118.9 cm)
Weight:7–11 lbs (3.2–5 kg)
Wingspan:70.8–78 in (179.8–198.1 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 40 years

Characterized by its long neck and equally lengthy legs, the Sandhill Crane is a distinctive bird thriving in freshwater wetlands, including marshes, damp grasslands, and river basins.

Known for their social nature, they are active birds that enjoy mingling with their avian counterparts.

One of the most remarkable features of Sandhill Cranes is their loud, trumpeting calls. These sounds are produced by an elongated trachea in their throat, which enables them to emit deeper frequencies.

Fun Fact: Sandhill Cranes have the ability to control the length of their trachea and can alter the pitch of their calls based on the situation. Loud, rattling calls when they’re near predators; soft purring clicks mean takeoff.

24. Limpkin

Limpkin with long neck
Scientific Name:Aramus guarauna
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:23–28 in (58.4–71.1 cm)
Weight:2.4–3 lbs (1.1–1.4 kg)
Wingspan:40–42 in (101.6–106.7 cm)

Found primarily in southern Georgia and Florida, the Limpkin is another bird distinguished by its long neck. Unique in their family, Aramidae, these birds are a singular representative of their kind.

In terms of nutrition, their meals mainly consist of apple snails. Interestingly, their preference for these snails plays a crucial ecological role.

In areas like Florida and Louisiana, non-native snails pose a threat to aquatic ecosystems, and Limpkins help control their population. This natural pest control is one reason why these birds are so important.

Aside from snails, however, Limpkins consume insects, worms, and mussels too.

25. Sarus Crane

Sarus Crane with long neck
Scientific Name:Grus antigone
Conservation Status:Vulnerable
Size:69.6–72 in (176.8–182.9 cm)
Weight:11–26 lbs (5–11.8 kg)
Wingspan:86.6–98.4 in (220–250 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 42 years

Standing as the world’s tallest flying bird and boasting a neck that soars to the skies, the Sarus Crane is a sight to behold. They grace the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and Australia with their presence.

Despite their impressive stature, Sarus Cranes are confronting a conservation crisis, with the IUCN listing them as “Vulnerable.”

With regard to mating rituals, these cranes are quite the opposite of shy. They are known for their elaborate dances, which include head bobbing and wing flapping, among other movements.

Fun Fact: Sarus Cranes are regarded for their flying prowess, reaching speeds between 40 and 70 kilometers per hour. However, this speed brings its dangers — collisions with power lines being one example.

26. Black Stork

Black Stork with long neck up close
Scientific Name:Ciconia nigra
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:35.4–41.3 in (90–105 cm)
Weight:5.3–7.1 lbs (2.4–3.2 kg)
Wingspan:56.7–61 in (144–155 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 31 years

The Black Stork is one of the most striking birds in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Their reddish-green plumage, white belly, long neck, and bright orange beak make them a visual treat in the birding world.

Although their numbers are not critically low, one study has pointed out a significant threat: predation by White-tailed Eagles.

Specifically, the nests of these eagles are often located next to those of Black Storks, which poses a direct danger.

When it comes to diet, these birds are not known to be picky eaters. They will take anything, including pikes, eels, water beetles, fish, crabs, small mammals, and even other avians.

Fun Fact: Black Storks engage in aerial displays during courtship. They also clatter their bills together to express their mutual interest in one another.

27. White-Faced Heron

White Faced Heron with long neck
Scientific Name:Egretta novaehollandiae
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:23.6–27.6 in (60–70 cm)
Weight:19.4 oz (550 g)
Wingspan:41.3–43.3 in (105–110 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 20 years

Inhabiting the farm ponds, rocky shores, and estuary mudflats of Australia, New Guinea, and New Zealand, the White-faced Heron is instantly recognizable by its long neck.

While typically solitary, these birds show flexibility in their behavior; they interact with other birds when it’s beneficial. For instance, they share nest sites with other species during breeding season.

True to their name, White-faced Herons boast a characteristic white face complemented by a bluish-gray plumage. This striking coloration makes them easily identifiable and a favorite among birdwatchers.

Fun Fact: These herons are not scared about venturing close to human dwellings. It is not uncommon to see one perched on a fence post, tree, telephone pole, or house roof.

28. Intermediate Egret

Intermediate Egret with long neck
Scientific Name:Ardea intermedia
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:23–27 in (58.4–68.6 cm)
Weight:14.1 oz (400 g)
Wingspan:42–46 in (106.7–116.8 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 15 years

Up next is the Intermediate Egret. These medium-sized birds are iconic for their long necks and slender frames. They also display many other notable traits, such as white plumage, yellow bills, and black legs and feet.

As a part of the Ardeidae family, Intermediate Egrets typically enjoy solitude. However, it’s not unusual to see them congregating in small groups of up to 20.

This social flexibility indicates their ability to adapt behavior based on the environment and the presence of other avians.

Often confused with Great Egrets, these birds can be distinguished by their upright stalking posture with their neck extended forward, in contrast to the Great Egret’s more sideways-leaning stance.

29. Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret with long neck
Scientific Name:Egretta rufescens
Conservation Status:Near-Threatened
Size:27–32 in (68.6–81.3 cm)
Weight:24.7–26.5 oz (700–750 g)
Wingspan:46–48 in (116.8–121.9 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 12 years

Easily recognizable by its lengthy nape, the Reddish Egret is one of North America’s rarest egrets. They are also famous for their shaggy plumage, red-colored head and neck feathers, thick bills, and long legs.

Currently, though, Reddish Egrets are facing the threat of becoming endangered due to the impacts of badly designed tourism and residential expansion.

Fortunately, it seems that efforts are being made to prevent further loss from occurring.

Fun Fact: Reddish Egrets are categorized as crepuscular creatures. This means they are most active during dawn and dusk.

30. Brolga

Brolga with long neck
Scientific Name:Grus rubicunda
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:39.4–49.2 in (100–125 cm)
Weight:10.6–19.2 lbs (4.8–8.7 kg)
Wingspan:66.9–94.5 in (169.9–240 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 33 years

A symbolic Australian bird distinguished by its long neck, the Brolga is a sociable member of the Gruidae family.

As a matter of fact, outside of their breeding season, Brolgas are known for their communal lifestyle. They are often seen flying, feeding, and roosting with fellow cranes.

On a different vein, these birds inhabit diverse landscapes, from open wetlands and grassy plains to well-watered farmlands and coastal mudflats.

In terms of diet, Brolgas have a varied palate. They primarily feast on sedge tubers and crops. Yet, they also dine on mollusks, invertebrates, small vertebrates, and crustaceans.

Fun Fact: Brolgas sport a specialized gland near their eyes, which allows them to excrete excess salt from drinking saltwater. This adaptation ensures they won’t die from dehydration.

31. American Bittern

American Bittern with long neck
Scientific Name:Botaurus lentiginosus
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:23–34 in (58.4–86.4 cm)
Weight:0.8–1.1 lbs (0.4–0.5 kg)
Wingspan:36–50 in (91.4–127 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 8 years

A resident of marshlands across the northern United States and Canada, the American Bittern boasts a long neck that aids in its survival. Yet, note that these birds’ feeding behavior is as stealthy as their appearance.

They often stand motionless at the water’s edge, lying in wait for their prey. And when the moment is right, they will capture their meal with a swift lunge of their yellow bills.

The diet of American Bitterns is as varied as the marshes they populate, including catfish, eels, tadpoles, killifish, perch, dragonflies, frogs, crabs, saltwater insects, salamanders, and garter snakes.

Fun Fact: American Bitterns are regarded for their vocal prowess. Interestingly, their unique booming, clacking calls have led to a variety of nicknames, such as “thunder-pumper” and “water-belcher,” among others.

32. Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret with long neck
Scientific Name:Egretta thula
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:20–27 in (50.8–68.6 cm)
Weight:13.1 oz (370 g)
Wingspan:39–41 in (99.1–104.1 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 17 years

Coming up is another type of long-necked egret called the Snowy Egret. These birds are a common sight from North to South America, especially along coastal regions rich with mudflats and tidal wetlands.

Known for their social nature, Snowy Egrets are often seen foraging in the company of terns, gulls, ibises, and other herons.

They also share communal nesting sites; they form bustling colonies that are a hive of activity during the breeding season.

Meanwhile, the meals of these egrets are mainly small fish, rodents, crustaceans, amphibians, reptiles, and marine insects.

Fun Fact: Snowy Egrets have a unique way of feeding. They use their feet to stir the bottom of shallow water, and then they flush prey into sight.

33. Western Reef-Heron

Western Reef Heron with long neck
Scientific Name:Egretta gularis
Size:22–26 in (55.9–66 cm)
Weight:14.1 oz (400 g)
Wingspan:33.9–42.9 in (86–109 cm)

With its elegant long neck, the Western Reef-heron is a fixture along the tropical coasts of the Old World. They come in three morphs: slate-gray, white, and pale gray.

Interestingly, these birds’ foraging technique reflects patience and precision.

A 2018 study revealed that they predominantly employ two methods while hunting: “Stand and Wait” and “Walking Slowly.”

These strategies involve patiently waiting or moving at a slow pace to catch unsuspecting prey.

34. Wood Stork

Wood Stork with long neck
Scientific Name:Mycteria americana
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:35–45 in (88.9–114.3 cm)
Weight:4–6 lbs (1.8–2.7 kg)
Wingspan:60–65 in (152.4–165.1 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 22 years

A bald wading bird from North America, the Wood Stork is another avian distinguished by its elongated neck. Beyond that, they also possess football-shaped builds, massive beaks, and long, white legs.

Behavior-wise, Wood Storks are known for their friendliness. They tend to forage in groups and nest in colonies, which highlights their community-oriented nature.

Meanwhile, if you’re wondering where to spot these birds, the best places to look are mixed hardwood swamps, sloughs, and mangroves.

Fun Fact: Astonishingly, these storks are skillful fliers despite their tall stature. They can be observed soaring at altitudes up to 6,000 feet.

35. Anhinga

Anhinga with long neck
Scientific Name:Anhinga anhinga
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:32–36 in (81.3–91.4 cm)
Weight:2.5 lbs (1.1 kg)
Wingspan:43–47 in (109.2–119.4 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 12 years

Often spotted in Florida’s waters, the Anhinga is iconic for its elongated neck, which has earned it the nickname “snake bird.”

Yet, these birds also resemble a turkey — thanks to their broad tail — contributing to their other moniker, “water turkey.”

Surprisingly, climate change is altering the range of Anhingas, with these typically southern birds now being sighted as far north as New York. However, it was pointed out that this expansion is due to the species’ growing population.

Carnivorous in nature, Anhingas have a mixed menu that includes small fish, shrimp, amphibians, crayfish, and even young alligators and snakes.

Fun Fact: These waterbirds lack waterproof feathers. Yet, far from a hindrance, this characteristic has allowed them to submerge, navigate, and hunt underwater with ease.

36. Saddlebill

Saddlebill with long neck
Scientific Name:Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis
Conservation Status:Least Concern
Size:52.8–58.8 in (134.1–149.4 cm)
Weight:11–16 lbs (5–7.3 kg)
Wingspan:94.8–108 in (240.8–274.3 cm)
Lifespan:Up to 30 years

Residing throughout tropical Africa, the Saddlebill or Saddle-billed Stork is a magnificent bird with a long neck and a striking appearance.

Basically, these tall avians are known for their black-and-white plumage and bright red beaks. Additionally, they exhibit sexual dimorphism; females have pale yellow eyes, while males have dark ones.

In most cases, these storks lead solitary lives. They are often found foraging alone or in pairs. And even when they do gather, the musterings are small.

Saddle-billed Storks are also highly territorial. They actively chase other couples away from their home range.

Fun Fact: Saddlebills do not have the ability to produce calls and vocalizations. However, they do certain actions like “bill-clattering” to communicate with other members of their species.

Which among the long-necked bunch did you like best? Let us know your favorites in the comments below! Further, if you have any specific questions about these birds with long necks, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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