48 Beautiful Birds with Crest [Images + IDs]

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The crest of a bird is a group of feathers on its head that is sometimes referred to as a crown and is mostly used for mating and communication. There are many birds with crests, some might have a huge, showy crest like a Grey Crowned Crane or one that is tufted, small like a Blue Jay.

In order to attract a partner and to communicate when they feel frightened or aroused, birds may use their crests. They may always have their crests visible or they may just lie flat on their heads.

Some birds, like Great-crested Grebes, only have crests during the mating season before molting and losing them.

Many birds have crests and in this blog, we have selected a list of the most beautiful birds with crests so continue reading

List of 48 Birds with Crest

1. Steller’s Jay

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Cyanocitta stelleri
  • Lifespan: 16 years
  • Size: 12–13 in
  • Native to: Western North America and the mountains of Central America

One of the most identifiable species of birds, the Steller’s Jay is located in western North America, including the northern Rockies and Mexico. The Steller’s Jay has a crest of feathers on its head, giving it an exotic look. It is a huge, black-headed jay with a dazzling blue body. The nests of Steller’s Jays are often found in scrub forests, chaparral brushlands, high-elevation conifer, coniferous woods, or woodlands.
They also inhabit plains with sporadic trees that provide perches for breeding and as cover from the summer heat. Acorns, pine nuts, berries, insects, and small rodents make up the majority of the diet of Steller’s Jays, which they either discover on the ground or steal from other birds that keep their food there. In the wild, Steller’s Jays only survive up to 10 to 15 years, but when kept in captivity, they may live for up to 30 years.

2. Blue Jay (birds with crest)

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Cyanocitta cristata
  • Lifespan: about 7 years
  • Size: 9 and 12 inches
  • Native to: North America

In North America, bluejays are a relatively common bird. The only bird that can be seen year-round in all 50 states, they can be found from California to Canada. The striking blue crest and black neck feathers of the blue jay are well recognized. They mostly reside in farmlands, suburban regions, scrubby areas, and wooded places.
Nuts, berries, insects, eggs, and chicks from other bird species make up Blue Jay’s diet. Blue Jays often stop by bird feeders where they may eat mixed seed mixes, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and safflower seeds. Blue Jay migration season, which starts in late March, is when you may watch them soaring through fields in search of food.

3. Northern Cardinal (birds with red crest)

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Cardinalis cardinalis
  • Lifespan: 3 to 5 years
  • Size: 7 to 9 inches
  • Native to: eastern United States

The Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) is a medium-sized songbird found in North America. It has a prominent red beak, crest, and plumage. Male cardinals are bright red all over, while females have a reddish hue with hints of brown. Northern Cardinals inhabit woodlands, gardens, and shrubby areas. This bird may be seen hopping from branch to branch on the ground, in trees, or in shrubs. In North America, from Eastern Canada to Southern Mexico, the Northern Cardinal is a large, mostly red bird.
In addition to their vivid color, they may be identified by their angry-looking pointed crest. Compared to female cardinals, males have a more prominent crest. They sometimes consume some fruits but primarily eat seeds, nuts, and berries along with tiny insects like spiders and caterpillars.

4. Tufted Titmouse (Small birds with crest)

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Baeolophus bicolor
  • Lifespan: 2.1 years
  • Size: 5.5–6.3 in
  • Native to: Nearctic region

The Tufted Titmouse is a sweet little bird found in the eastern United States. They may be little and go unnoticed when they flutter around your lawn, but don’t be fooled by their cute appearance! Ants, beetles, spiders, and crickets are among the creatures that the Tufted Titmouse is known to consume. They will also consume grass or acorn seeds that have been split apart with their beaks to release the seed within.
Small beaks and tufty, fluffy crowns that give them a “fuzzy” look are two of their most distinctive features. Deciduous woods, woodland borders, hedgerows, parks, suburban gardens, and open woodlands with thick understory vegetation are among their favored habitats. During the winter, when food is in short supply, titmice are often seen in populated areas and other artificial habitats.

5. Oak Titmouse (Small birds with crest)

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Baeolophus inornatus
  • Lifespan: 9 years
  • Size: 5 inches
  • Native to: California, though it ranges north to Oregon and south to Baja California

Small, grayish-brown Oak Titmice have a tufted crest that they may drop and erect in response to danger. They consume insects, seeds, berries, and acorns and like to dwell in the mixed woods and deep forests of North America. Oak Titmice often graze on the ground, but they have also been seen eating fruits and nuts off tree limbs and flowers or fruit from low-hanging branches.
Males and females have such a similar appearance that it is exceedingly difficult to tell them apart! Only a few regions in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Kentucky have them. The characteristic “tsee tsee tsee” sound of oak titmice is used to alert fellow oak titmice to the presence of predators. As the predator approaches them or if they feel intimidated by it, the call intensifies.

6. Cedar Waxwing

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Bombycilla cedrorum
  • Lifespan: about 8 years
  • Size: 6-8 inches
  • Native to: Northern half of the United States

The name of this stunning bird is Cedar Waxwing. With a facemask and tufted crest, it is mostly brown, grey, and yellow in color. From Alaska to the East Coast of North America and portions of Asia, this species of bird has a wide breeding range. In Canada, where they reproduce from May to July, they are non-migratory. During the winter, when they eat the berries of evergreen plants like juniper, they are widespread throughout North America.
In order to maintain their body weight throughout the winter months when food supplies are low, cedar waxwings eat berries and insects. From October to April, these lovely birds spend their winters in deciduous woods, orchards, parks, and gardens before migrating south to Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru in search of milder climates.

7. Pileated Woodpecker

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Dryocopus pileatus
  • Lifespan: 12-year
  • Size: 16-19 inches
  • Native to: North America

Native to North America, Pileated Woodpeckers have been seen in a variety of locations throughout the continent, including Colorado, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, New York State, Texas, and Virginia. Deciduous woods, woodland margins, city parks, and suburban regions are all places you may find them. To discover insects like ants, beetle larvae, or any other ground-based insects they can find, as well as small animals and fruits, they utilise their pointed beaks to burrow into trees.
They have a body length of 16 to 18 inches and a wingspan of 27 to 30 inches, making them the biggest woodpecker in the country. The Pileated Woodpecker has a distinctive red crest on top of its head, black plumage all over, and white stripes running down its face and neck. When it comes to their nesting locations and eating territories, they are said to be very possessive.

8. Vermilion Flycatcher

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Pyrocephalus obscurus
  • Lifespan: 4-5 years
  • Size: 5.1–5.5 in
  • Native to: Mexico, extending north into the southwestern United States, and south to scattered portions of Central America, and parts of northwestern and central South America

The Vermilion Flycatcher is another beautiful bird in our list of birds with crest. It is a little, exquisitely coloured red bird with black wings and a crimson crown that is tufted. This colourful small bird, which is typically 5 inches long and 9.5 inches broad, is widely renowned for both its remarkable beauty and its singing, which has the sound of “clear-sweet notes.” It may be found in Southern Mexico, Central America, the Southwest of the United States, and Eastern Guatemala.
Grasshoppers, dragonflies, and beetles are among the insects that the vermilion flycatcher consumes for food. This may be found in cactus fields or close to the water, where it spends a lot of time perched still while hunting. They are very protective of their nests and will use any means necessary to keep predators away. When this is unsuccessful, they will take off and begin to make an alarm call to attract the attention of any surrounding birds or animals.

9. Ruby Crowned Kinglet

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Regulus calendula
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Size: 9-11 cm
  • Native to: Northwest Canada and Alaska south to Mexico

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet is a tiny bird found in North America that has wingspans of 6 to 7 inches and average lengths between 3.5 and 4 inches. It also goes by the name “crowned kinglet” and has a crest on its head that looks like a royal crown. The year-round red hat of the male Ruby-crowned Kinglet serves as a telltale sign of its gender, whereas the female’s grey cap has white streaks running through it.
The bird generally consumes insects like ants, beetles, flies, spiders, and other invertebrates from the ground or nearby vegetation since it spends much of its time near water sources like ponds or streams. When accessible, they will also consume seeds and berries. Keep an eye out for this little bird with a nice song close to your house. Due to their appearance, they are often mistaken for chickadees or other birds that look like them.

10. Golden-crowned Kinglet

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Regulus satrapa
  • Lifespan: 6 years
  • Size: 3.1 to 4.3 in
  • Native to: Mexico and Guatemala

The little Golden-crowned Kinglet is distinguished by its golden crest. These birds are under an ounce in weight and roughly 4 inches long. In addition to eating insects, kinglets sometimes consume fruit, nectar, and seeds when they are available. The western United States, Canada, Alaska, Mexico, and Central America are all places where you may find them. From March to September, these birds breed in coniferous forests in North America.
During this time of year, they construct their nests on tree branches and eat insects. They go southward to warmer regions throughout the winter. The shy nature of this adorable tiny songbird causes it to often hide in thick vegetation or other areas where it is difficult to view. It’s understandable that the majority of people are unaware of this kinglet’s appearance.

11. Indian Peafowl (Large birds with crest)

  • Scientific name: Pavo cristatus
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Size: 3 to 4 feet
  • Native to: India and Sri Lanka, in South Asia

Indian Peafowl is another large beautiful bird in our list of birds with crest. In the wild, peacocks inhabit woods and forests, but they also do well in captivity and other unfamiliar surroundings. In addition to Southeast Asia, the Congo Basin, and India, they are found in the wild there.
Although these flamboyant birds spend most of their time scratching about on the ground, it is breathtaking to see them effortlessly soar.
It is believed that the peacock’s crest has the ability to detect vibrations produced by mating tail displays.

2. Northern Lapwing

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Vanellus vanellus
  • Lifespan: about 5 years
  • Size:11–13 in
  • Native to: North America

Wading birds known as northern lapwings inhabit Siberia and Europe. They travel great distances to go from northern Africa and southern Asia to Siberia and northern Europe.
In comparison to females and immature birds, male Northern Lapwings have longer crests. They also go by the name “peewits” because of the pee-wit call they produce.

13. Rockhopper Penguin

  • Scientific name: Eudyptes chrysocome
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Size: 21.7 inches
  • Native to: islands north of Antarctica, from Chile to New Zealand

Small rockhopper penguins inhabit frigid climates on islands in the southern Atlantic, South America, the southern Indian Ocean, and the region around New Zealand.
Although Rockhopper Penguins have the most striking crest of any penguin, their crests do not develop at birth; instead, they do so as the animals become older.

14. Victoria Crowned Pigeon

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Goura victoria
  • Lifespan: 20-25 years
  • Size: 24 – 28 inches
  • Native to: New Guinea

The head of Victoria-crowned pigeons is covered in beautiful feathers that create a stunning crest that steals the show. New Guinea, which is located north of Australia, is home to these large-headed birds.
This bird was given the name Queen Victoria because of her magnificent hair.

15. Eurasian Hoopoe

  • Scientific name: Upupa epops
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Size: 9.8–12.6 in
  • Native to: Europe, Asia, and the northern half of Africa

Birds called Eurasian Hoopoes have a magnificent feathered crowns on their heads that they can erect in a spectacular show. This big head show is wonderfully highlighted by the black tips on the feathers.
There are nine subspecies of Eurasian Hoopoe, which are found in Europe, Asia, and North Africa.
A hoopoo has a long, robust, and pointed beak, and it has extra-tough muscles that enable it to open its bill while it is buried in the ground.
Hoopoes have some unsavory tendencies; they may blind opponents and stab each other with their beaks during battles. Hoopoe females and offspring produce a foul-smelling liquid to cover the eggs and nests to deter predators.

16. Grey crowned crane

  • Scientific name: Balearica regulorum
  • Lifespan: up to 30 years
  • Size: 40 inches
  • Native to: eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Kenya to southeastern South Africa.

These large, spiky-haired birds are native to eastern and southern Africa. They stand over 3 feet (1 m) tall and weigh 7.7 pounds (3.5 kg).
Their stunning black, white, and red features are framed by the stiff, hair-like feathers on this bird’s head.
Additionally, they have long, gray feathers that hang down from their body and resemble hair.

17. Palm Cockatoo

Grey crowned crane

Image Source

  • Scientific name: Probosciger aterrimus
  • Lifespan: 80 or 90 years
  • Size: 19- 27 inches
  • Native to: New Guinea and Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia

The Palm Cockatoo has red facial patches and a big black mohawk. It is possibly the biggest cockatoo in the world and the biggest in Australia. Of all parrots, they have one of the largest beaks.
To create a drumming exhibition, they break off thick twigs that may be up to an inch thick with their huge beak (3 cm).

18. Crested Duck

  • Scientific name: Lophonetta specularioides
  • Lifespan:  8–12 years
  • Size: n/a
  • Native to: North America

These birds with hair on their heads seem to have just left a hair salon because of how well-groomed they are.
This duck may die from the crest, a genetic abnormality that results in a deformed cranium.
Due to its distinctive head feathers, this duck was taken back to Europe from the East Indies where it originally came from.
Due to the genetic abnormality that causes the crest, not every chick born to crested ducks will have one.

19. Red-crested Turaco

Grey crowned crane

  • Scientific name: Tauraco erythrolophus
  • Lifespan: 9 years
  • Size: 19 to 20 in
  • Native to:  Angola

Red-crested Turaco is another large beautiful bird in our list of birds with crest. Africa is home to these birds with crimson feathers on their heads. They are fairly huge and have monkey-like voices.
Up to 30 of these red-haired birds form flocks that ornament the trees.
The 2 inches (5 cm) of bright red head feathers are quite noticeable against the green body.

20. Bare-faced Go Away Bird

Grey crowned crane

  • Scientific name: Corythaixoides personatus
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Size: 20 inches
  • Native to: Eastern Afrotropics

This type of turaco has a big mohawk that stands out against their naked, dark cheeks. They are loud, long-tailed birds that dwell in Africa.
Their booming “go away” yell gave rise to their moniker. Comparatively speaking to other turacos, the Bare-faced Go-Away Bird is rather dull.

21. Polish Chicken

  • Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus
  • Lifespan: 7 and 8 years
  • Size: n/a
  • Native to: The Netherlands

What’s not to love about this chicken with odd hair? They seem to need a haircut since their hair is so long that it interferes with their ability to see well.
There are three types: frizzle, non-bearded, and bearded. They are excellent egg layers in addition to being often employed as display birds.

22. Cockatiel

Origin: Native only to Australia

Size: 12 to 13 inches

Weight: around 4 oz

Life Span: 16 to 25 years

a little Australian cockatoo species with a yellow mohawk. a common pet bird that displays its excitement or fear with its crest.
Although they are grey in the wild, captive birds have over 22 different color variations. They may survive up to 25 years in captivity, but one was found to have lived for 36 years.

23. Himalayan Monal (purple birds with crest)

  • Scientific name: Lophophorus impejanus
  • Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
  • Size: 28 in
  • Native to: Himalayan forests

a big pheasant that dwells in the jungles of the Himalayas. Himalayan Monals measure around 28 inches (70 cm) in length and weigh 76 to 84 ounces (2150g – 2380g).
The males are colorfully vibrant birds with lengthy crests of shiny green feathers. Females lack the crest and are mostly brown in color.
The practice of hunting them for their crest feathers to adorn men’s hats has since been outlawed.

24. Secretary Bird

Grey crowned crane

  • Scientific name: Sagittarius serpentarius
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years
  • Size: 0.9 to 1.2 m
  • Native to: Sub-Saharan Africa

The secretary bird is a huge African bird of prey that may reach heights of 4 feet, three inches (1.3 m). They have exceptionally long black crest feathers and legs.
In general, males have longer tail feathers and larger crests than females. Using their lengthy legs to run on the ground, they spend a lot of time catching insects, small animals, lizards, and snakes.

25. Red-Whiskered Bulbul

  • Scientific name: Pycnonotus jocosus
  • Lifespan: 11 years
  • Size: 17-23cm
  • Native to: Southern Asia

This Indian bird with a spikey crest now calls the United States home after escaping from a Miami aviary.
Traveling in groups, the red-whiskered bulbul consumes fruits and insects.

26. Smew

  • Scientific name: Mergellus albellus
  • Lifespan: 8-10 years
  • Size: 15–17 in
  • Native to: Northern taiga of Europe and Asia

The Smew (Mergellus albellus) is a species of duck that is native to Europe and Asia. It is a small, diving duck, and is also known as the white merganser due to its distinctive white coloration. Smews are sexually dimorphic, with males having striking black and white plumage, while females have a more muted grey-brown coloration.

In the winter, Smews migrate to areas of open water, such as rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. They feed primarily on fish and aquatic invertebrates, diving to catch their prey. During the breeding season, they nest in tree holes near water, laying a clutch of up to 12 eggs.

Although Smews are not currently considered to be threatened, they are vulnerable to habitat loss and pollution. In some areas, they are also hunted for sport. Conservation efforts to protect their habitats and reduce pollution are important to ensure their populations remain healthy.

27. Demoiselle Crane (Large birds with crest)

  • Scientific name: Grus virgo
  • Lifespan: 27 years
  • Size: 33.5–39.5 in
  • Native to: Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Mongolia to east China

Demoiselle Cranes are large birds with long hair that falls over their thin necks and arcs from their eyes.
The smallest species of crane is called a demoiselle crane, and it is found throughout Eurasia.
During their migration, these cranes must fly across the Himalayas, the tallest mountain range in the world.
Throughout the breeding season, they put on a fantastic dance show.

28. Crested Partridge

  • Scientific name: Rollulus rouloul
  • Lifespan: about 5 years
  • Size: 9.8 in
  • Native to: South Burma, south Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo

The Crested Partridge (Rollulus rouloul) is a species of bird that belongs to the family Phasianidae, which includes pheasants, quails, and partridges. The Crested Partridge is also known as the Roul-roul, Red-crowned Wood Partridge, or Green Wood Partridge. They are native to Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. They can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, bamboo thickets, and plantations.

These birds are small, plump birds that grow to be about 25-30 cm (10-12 in) in length and have distinctive crests of feathers on their heads, which can be raised or lowered depending on their mood. They are primarily brown in color, with greenish-black feathers on their backs and reddish-brown feathers on their wings and tails. They have bright red beaks and legs.

Crested Partridges are ground-dwelling birds that feed on a variety of plant materials, including seeds, fruits, and insects. They are typically monogamous and form long-lasting pairs. The female lays a clutch of 4-6 eggs, which are incubated by both parents.

29. Great Curassow (Large birds with crest)

  • Scientific name: Crax rubra
  • Lifespan: 24 years
  • Size: 31–39 in
  • Native to: Eastern Mexico, through Central America to western Colombia and northwestern Ecuador

The heads of large birds have lengthy crest feathers. These birds have fan-shaped head feathers that protrude over their flat, bright yellow beaks.
The Great Curassow is a species of bird found in Mexico and Central America. It forages mostly on the ground but spends the night in trees as its roosts.
They have a long lifespan of at least 24 years and are capable of becoming violent, even against people.
On the IUCN Red List, they are classified as Vulnerable.

30. Crested Caracara

  • Scientific name: Caracara plancus
  • Lifespan: over 30 years
  • Size: 26 inches
  • Native to: Tierra del Fuego in southernmost South America to the southern United States, Mexico, and Central America

In Central and South America’s vast spaces, Crested Caracara often stroll on the ground or perch on lone trees. They belong to the falcon family and are often seen accompanying vultures at dead animals.
They are medium-sized raptors with orange skin around their beaks and a shaggy crest.

31. White-crested helmetshrike

Great Curassow

  • Scientific name: Prionops plumatus
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Size: 45 mm 
  • Native to: Africa

Along with the White-crested Helmetshrike’s spiky white crest, the eye wattle’s brilliant yellow colour truly pops.
They are from Africa and search for insects in groups when foraging in the forests.

32. Great Crested Grebe

Great Curassow

  • Scientific name: Podiceps cristatus
  • Lifespan: 19.2 years
  • Size: 18–20 in
  • Native to: Europe and Asia, parts of southern and eastern Africa, Australia, and New Zealand

The biggest grebe to be found in Europe, with summer fan-shaped head feathers. As the bird climbs out of the water and waves its head, the head feathers are employed in courting displays.
For their head feathers, which were used on ladies’ hats, they were hunted to extinction in the UK.
Wintertime sees the Great-crested Grebe switch to less striking black-and-white head feathers that don’t resemble a huge mane.

33. Harpy Eagle (Large birds with crest)

Great Curassow

  • Scientific name: Harpia harpyja
  • Lifespan: 25-35 years
  • Size: 36-40 inches
  • Native to: Central and South America

The Harpy Eagle, which is sometimes described as the biggest eagle, is a rare and stunning sight. The Harpy eagle is often mentioned as being the biggest eagle in the world, along with the Philippine eagle and Steller’s eagle.
Due to its distant jungle home, the Harpy Eagle, the national bird of Panama, is seldom seen.
Long, dark grey crest feathers on the heads of harpy eagles, which rise up when they sense danger, give them a unique appearance.
They have striped legs and a lighter grey head, and they are largely white beneath with a dark grey back. They have big, hooked, black beaks.

34. Crested Barbet

Great Curassow

  • Scientific name: Trachyphonus vaillantii
  • Lifespan: about 7 years
  • Size: 23 to 24 cm
  • Native to: Southern Africa

The Crested Barbet is a brightly colored African bird with a black crest on its yellow head. They eat mice, eggs, and insects.
They often nest in gardens in logs or holes in trees. Other nesting birds like doves and thrushes may be driven from their territory by their aggressive behavior against other birds in the area.

35. Crested Auklet

  • Scientific name: Aethia cristatella
  • Lifespan: about 10 years
  • Size: 9.5 to 10.5 in
  • Native to: Northern Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea

Crested Auklet is a sociable seabird that breeds in up to one million-strong colony in the Bering Sea. It is believed that sexual selection is responsible for the evolution of their forehead crest and citrus-like aroma.
Their crests, which normally have 12 crest feathers and bend forward over the face and short orange beak, are typical of this species.

36. Crested Kingfisher

  • Scientific name: Cyanocitta cristata
  • Lifespan: about 7 years
  • Size: 9 and 12 inches
  • Native to: North America

a large kingfisher from southern Asia with a ragged crest of black and white. They are 16 to 17 inches (41 to 43 cm) long and use their feet and beaks to dig holes in vertical banks in forests to build nests.

37. Rufous-crested-coquette (green birds with crest)

  • Scientific name: Megaceryle lugubris
  • Lifespan: about 3 years
  • Size: 41–43 cm
  • Native to: Southern Asia

The Rufous-crested-coquette is a South American crested hummingbird that is seldom seen due to its tiny size. They barely measure around 2 to 2.5 inches in length (6 – 7 cm).
They graze throughout large open spaces where nectar-producing plants are present.

38. Sulfur-Crested Cockatoo

Origin: native to eastern Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia, and New Zealand

Size: 19 inches

Weight: 25 ounces

Life Span: up to 70 years.

The yellow accents beneath the wing and tail of the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo complement its yellow crest.
Due to their destructive behaviors with crops and the wood in homes and structures, they are considered pests and are native to Australia and New Guinea.
They are very clever birds with a potentially very long lifespan.

39. Dalmatian Pelican (Large birds with crest)

  • Scientific name: Pelecanus crispus
  • Lifespan: 35-54 years
  • Size: 160-183 cm
  • Native to: Palearctic from southeastern Europe to Russia, India, and China

The world’s biggest pelican has gorgeous scruffy hair that gives it an ungroomed look.
They may reach lengths of 5 to 6 ft (160 to 180 cm) and have wingspans of more than 11 ft (350 cm).
They have a home in central Eurasia and eat fish from freshwater rivers and lakes.

40. Royal Flycatcher (birds with red crest)

Crested Auklet

  • Scientific name: Onychorhynchus
  • Lifespan: 6 years
  • Size: 5.9 in
  • Native to: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela

This flycatcher’s mostly dark color conceals a crest with a red and blue pointed fan. Although this gorgeous haircut is often kept a secret until the breeding and courting seasons.
They are residents of Central, South, and Mexico America.

41. Curl-crested aracari

  • Scientific name: Pteroglossus beauharnaesii
  • Lifespan: 18 years
  • Size: 16-18 inches
  • Native to: Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru

Curl-crested aracari is another large bird in our list of birds with crestThe Amazon is the home of this toucan with curly hair. They mostly eat fruit, although they have also been seen stealing other birds’ fledglings.
They are cheerful, active birds that are often kept as pets.

42. Guianan cock-of-the-rock (Orange birds with crest)

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Rupicola rupicola
  • Lifespan: about 7 years
  • Size: 12 inches
  • Native to: South America

The Guianan cock-of-the-rock (Rupicola rupicola) is a species of bird in the cotinga family, found in the Guianas, Venezuela, and Brazil. It is known for its bright orange plumage, which is more vivid in males than in females.

The male Guianan cock-of-the-rock has a prominent half-moon-shaped crest on its head and a prominent, brightly colored disk on its beak. The females, on the other hand, are much duller in color and lack the crest and disk.

They are usually found in the canopy of lowland rainforests and are often seen in leks, where males gather to display their bright plumage and compete for the attention of females. Their diet consists mainly of fruits and insects.

43. Great Blue Turaco (Large birds with crest)

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Corythaeola cristata
  • Lifespan: 30 yrs
  • Size: 28- 30 inches
  • Native to: Guinea east across Africa to the Imatong Mountains in southern Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Western Kenya and south to Democratic Replublic of Congo and Angola

Spiky-haired woman The Great Blue Turaco, which is around 30 inches in length, is the largest species of Turaco (75 cm). On their crown, their striking crest is shown erect and with pride.
They are hunted for their flesh and feathers in the Congo region of Africa.

44. Tufted puffin

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Fratercula cirrhata
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Size: 14 inches.
  • Native to: the upper latitudes of the North Pacific Ocean

The tufted puffin is another puffin species that appear on our list. The size of tufted puffins Males is longer than females by around 14 inches.
Tufted puffins are all-black birds, like other puffins, with a white face and a big orange beak. Additionally, they have yellowish head plumes on both sexes and orange webbed feet.
They are seabirds of the North Pacific, which inhabit Southern Alaska and the Northern Channel Islands.
These birds are known to dive and grab up to 20 tiny fish on their beaks and are superb swimmers. Small fish make up the majority of their diet, although they will also consume squid, crabs, and marine worms.
Tufted puffins use their bills to dig tunnels to lay their eggs, and they build their colonies on offshore islands. Because they are precocial, the chicks may leave the nest not long after they hatch.
Soon after birth, they are able to swim and dive, and they will go to the sea with their parents to learn how to capture fish. The lifespan of a tufted puffin is roughly 20 years.

45. Red-legged Seriema

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Cariama cristata
  • Lifespan: 20 to 30 years
  • Size: 30 to 35 inches
  • Native to: Central and eastern Brazil to eastern Bolivia

Red-legged Seriema is guard animals used by farmers to defend poultry from predators in South America. They have a tall, spiky crest over their beak.
When threatened, they produce loud shouts and charge at their adversary while attacking with their claws and beak.

46. Golden Pheasant

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Chrysolophus pictus
  • Lifespan: 13 years
  • Size: 44 inches
  • Native to: Western China

This Chinese bird with golden hair has a long tail and feathers that extend out like a cape around its neck. The lengthy crest runs the length of its back.
Despite their vibrant hues, they are difficult to detect since they hide in the woods.

47. White-crested Laughingthrush

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Garrulax leucolophus
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Size: 13 to 15 cm
  • Native to: South Asia (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) and other parts of tropical East Asia (Cambodia, China, Laos, Mynamar, Thailand, Vietnam)

Southeast Asia is home to this chattering bird with a white crest that is 10 inches long (30 cm). In order to be safe from predators, they often reside on higher ground in the foothills of mountains in densely forested places.
They get their name from the loud shouts they often make in the chorus.

48. Double-Crested Cormorants (Large birds with crest)

birds with crest

  • Scientific name: Phalacrocorax auritus
  • Lifespan: up to 20 years
  • Size: 30 inches
  • Native to: North America, from the Aleutian Islands in Alaska down to Florida and Mexico

The breeding adult has a little black feathered crest that is tufted. This waterbird, has a tiny head, a large beak, and a long neck. Although it is not as large as a goose, its body length of between 27.6 to 35.4 inches is noteworthy.
Since its wings aren’t waterproof, be prepared to record its distinctive behavior when it spreads them out in the sun to dry.
In the US, there are several double-crested cormorants. Florida is home to the permanent population, the central states are home to the migratory birds, and the northern area is home to the breeding cormorant population.
Therefore, somewhere in the US, you will always see a double-crested cormorant. In addition, it is unbothered by coexisting in a colony with wading bird species.
You may infer that the double-crested cormorant eats tiny fish, crabs, and eels from its fondness of lakes, rivers, and bays. Their food also includes snakes.

Understanding Bird’s Crest

Bird crests are marvelous and distinctive structures that adorn the heads of many bird species. These unique features are created by a specialized arrangement of feathers, which differ in shape, size, or coloration from the surrounding plumage. Bird crests come in a stunning array of shapes and sizes, ranging from small tufts to elaborate fan-shaped formations.

Evaluation of Birds with Crests

The origins of bird crests can be traced back to the evolutionary history of these magnificent creatures. To truly understand the significance of crests, we must look back to their reptilian ancestors. Remarkably, some reptiles, including dinosaurs and pterosaurs, also possessed crests. These structures likely served a variety of functions, such as communication, display, and species recognition.

Types of Bird’s Crest

Bird crests exhibit a remarkable diversity of shapes and sizes, each adding its own unique charm to the avian world. Let’s explore some of the different types of bird crests, highlighting their distinct characteristics and visual appeal.

Tufted Crests:

Tufted crests are characterized by a compact cluster of feathers that form a charming tuft atop the bird’s head. These crests often give the appearance of a miniature crown, adding a touch of elegance and regality to the bird’s overall demeanor. Examples of species with tufted crests include the Northern Cardinal and the Cedar Waxwing.

Plume-like Crests:

Plume-like crests are composed of long, delicate feathers that gracefully cascade from the top of the bird’s head. These feathers can be thick and full, creating a stunning display that enhances the bird’s presence. Birds with plume-like crests include the Great Egret and the Crested Caracara.

Fan-shaped Crests:

Fan-shaped crests are perhaps the most flamboyant and visually striking of all. These crests consist of feathers that spread out like an exquisite fan, often displaying vibrant colors and intricate patterns. The resplendent colors and elaborate structures of fan-shaped crests make them an exceptional sight. Prominent examples of species with fan-shaped crests include the Victoria Crowned Pigeon and the Java Sparrow.

Curved Crests:

Curved crests, as the name suggests, possess a distinctive curved shape that adds a touch of uniqueness to the bird’s appearance. These crests can curve backward or sideways, creating an intriguing silhouette. One well-known example is the Curl-crested Aracari, a member of the toucan family, which boasts a distinctive curved crest that adds to its charismatic charm.

Crowned Crests:

Crowned crests resemble a majestic crown resting atop the bird’s head. These crests often have a circular or semi-circular shape, framing the bird’s face with an aura of royalty. The Red-crowned Crane and the Hoopoe are prime examples of species with crowned crests that add a touch of magnificence to their already striking features.

Functions of Bird Crests

One of the primary functions of bird crests is communication and signaling. Crests can be raised, lowered, fanned out, or vibrated, allowing birds to convey different messages to conspecifics or other species. For example, crests can be used as a display of aggression or dominance during territorial disputes. By erecting their crests, birds can appear larger and more intimidating, signaling their presence and asserting their ownership over a particular area.

Crests also play a significant role in mate attraction and sexual selection. In many bird species, males often have more elaborate and prominent crests compared to females. These exaggerated crests serve as visual signals of the male’s genetic quality and overall health, making them more attractive to potential mates. Female birds may use the size, color, and shape of the crest as indicators of the male’s fitness, as an impressive crest may suggest that the male possesses good genes or is capable of providing suitable parental care.

In addition to communication and mate attraction, bird crests may have roles in thermoregulation and protection. Some crests, particularly those with a feathery or fluffy texture, can help regulate body temperature by trapping air and providing insulation. In colder environments, crests may help keep the bird’s head warm by reducing heat loss. On the other hand, in hotter climates, crests may play a role in dissipating excess heat by increasing the surface area available for heat exchange.

It is important to note that the specific functions of bird crests can vary across species. Different bird families and genera have evolved unique crests with specialized functions to suit their ecological niche and social behavior. Therefore, the functions mentioned above are general observations, and further research is necessary to understand the specific roles of crests in individual bird species

Cultural Significance and Symbolism of Birds with Crest

In many cultures, bird crests have been associated with symbolic meanings and representations. For instance, in ancient Egypt, the crests of birds such as the falcon and the ibis were revered as symbols of divinity and power. These birds were associated with deities like Horus and Thoth, representing wisdom, protection, and the spiritual realm. The crests of these birds were often depicted in ancient Egyptian art and hieroglyphs as a visual representation of their divine attributes.

Similarly, in Native American cultures, bird crests held spiritual significance and were often associated with specific tribes or clans. For example, the crest of the eagle was considered a sacred symbol among many tribes, representing strength, courage, and connection to the spirit world. Feathers from birds with crests, such as the golden eagle, were used in ceremonial regalia and as a way to connect with the divine during rituals and ceremonies.

Bird crests have also played prominent roles in mythology and folklore across different cultures. In Greek mythology, the crests of birds like the peacock and the owl were associated with various gods and goddesses. The peacock’s crest, with its vibrant and iridescent feathers, was linked to the goddess Hera, symbolizing beauty and immortality. The owl’s crest, on the other hand, was associated with the goddess Athena, representing wisdom, intuition, and foresight.

Final Thoughts on Birds with Crests

Birds with crests are extraordinary creatures that embody both natural beauty and fascinating adaptations. Their crests serve multiple functions, from communication and mate attraction to indicators of health and genetic fitness. The cultural and symbolic significance of bird crests throughout history has contributed to their representation in art, mythology, and folklore.

They continue to inspire us, influencing fashion, design, and even conservation efforts. Their unique features and behaviors remind us of the incredible diversity of life on our planet and the intricate interconnections between different species.

As nature enthusiasts, we should take the time to appreciate and observe birds with crests in their natural habitats. Whether it is witnessing a magnificent peacock fanning its vibrant crest or observing an eagle soaring through the sky with its regal head adorned, these encounters provide us with glimpses into the wonders of the avian world.

Frequently Asked Questions on Birds with Crest

Here are the answers to the FAQs about bird crests:

Can the shape and size of a bird’s crest change over time?

Yes, the shape and size of a bird’s crest can change over time. Factors such as age, health, and hormonal changes can influence the development and appearance of the crest.

How do birds use their crests for communication?

Birds use their crests as visual signals during communication. They can raise, lower, fan out, or vibrate their crests to convey different messages to conspecifics or other species, such as aggression, dominance, or courtship.

Are bird crests sexually dimorphic?

Yes, in many bird species, there is sexual dimorphism in crests, meaning that males and females may have different crest sizes, shapes, or colors. Males often have more elaborate and prominent crests compared to females.

Do bird crests serve any functional purposes besides communication?

Yes, bird crests can serve other functional purposes besides communication. They can provide insulation for thermoregulation, act as a form of protection or camouflage, and may be indicators of health and genetic fitness.

Are bird crests more common in certain habitats or climates?

There is no specific habitat or climate where bird crests are more common. Crests can be found in various bird species across different habitats and climates.

Can a bird’s crest be an indicator of its age or health?

Yes, a bird’s crest can be an indicator of its age or health. A well-developed crest can suggest a good overall condition, access to resources, and freedom from diseases or parasites.

Are there any endangered bird species with unique crests?

Yes, there are endangered bird species with unique crests. For example, the Philippine Eagle, with its distinctive crown of long feathers, is one such species facing conservation challenges.

Can the crest of a bird be regrown if it gets damaged?

Yes, birds can regrow their crests if they are damaged or lost. Feathers naturally molt and are replaced over time, allowing the bird to regrow its crest.

What is the most elaborate crest found in birds?

The most elaborate crest found in birds is subjective, as different species have unique and impressive crests. Examples of remarkable crests include the large, fan-shaped crests of the Victoria-crowned pigeon and the magnificent plume of the crested argus.

Do birds use their crests for defense or camouflage?

Yes, birds can use their crests for defense or camouflage. Some crests can serve as visual distractions to predators or competitors, while others can help birds blend with their surroundings, providing camouflage.

I'm Nauman Afridi, the bird enthusiast behind Birdsology.com. My lifelong passion for birds has led me to create a space where fellow bird lovers can find valuable insights and tips on caring for our feathered friends.Professionally, I'm a brand strategist and digital marketing consultant, bringing a unique perspective to the world of bird care. Whether you're a novice or an experienced bird owner, Birdsology.com is designed to be a welcoming community for all.Feel free to explore, and reach out if you have any questions or just want to chat about birds.
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