November 28, 2010

Ugliest Bird Competition

Southern Yellow-billed Hornbill
(Tockus leucomelas)

Photo by: Hans Hillewaert
I was looking through Wikimedia Commons recently, where you can find some of the most amazing photographs available for use. On the front page was a photo of one of the ugliest birds I have ever seen.

Now, don't get me wrong - I love birds! In fact, I love all animals, but there are some seriously ugly birds and other creatures out in the world. 

So I thought I'd share some of the more "beauty challenged" birds with you. The interesting thing though is how many people chose the same bird species as the ugliest. 

First in the line-up is the bird on the right that looks like it is sporting two bananas for its beak, the southern yellow-billed hornbill. This guy also looks like a caricature doesn't it? It almost seems like it can't possibly be real.
Crested or Southern Screamer
(Chauna torquata)
Photo by: Ltshears

(Leptoptilos crumeniferus)
Photo from Boing Boing
Southern Ground-hornbill
(Bucorvus leadbeateri - male)
Photo by Magnus Manske
King Vulture
Photo from:

Andean Condor
(Vultur gryphus )
Photo from

Northern Bald Ibis
(Waldrapp Geronticus eremita)
Photo by: Richard Bartz

(Casuarius casuarius)
Photo from
I'm so used to the Australian Cassowary I don't really think of them as ugly, but many people apparently rate them as one of the ugliest birds, along with the Australian emu.

(Platalea alba) )
Photo by Jeremy Kemp

But my vote for ugliest bird would have to be the following:

(Balaeniceps rex)
Photo from

What do you think? Do you have another suggestion for the ugliest bird competition?

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