Last Updated: August 14, 2023
Oh! You'll love reading this list. The pictures of these funky head feathers will crack you up.
There are so many birds with crazy hair, so we'll only list a few to give you an idea of the kind of adventure to expect when you peep through your binoculars only looking for crazy hairdos.
The range of colors these hairdos yield is otherworldly, ranging from light brown to red, white, and yellow. Enjoy!
- Birds With Crazy Hairdos: 15 Species With Stunning Head Feathers
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- Frequently Asked Questions
Birds With Crazy Hairdos: 15 Species With Stunning Head Feathers
These hairdos aren't decorative only. No! Birds use them to entice partners during the mating season, frighten intruders or communicate. Here are a few species with the most striking head feathers.
1. Dalmatian Pelican
The long white feathers on the crown give it an unkempt look despite spending most of its time floating on the water.
Dalmatian pelicans aren't in Europe only as they inhabit wetlands in China and the Mediterranean. Since such habitats are decreasing, this is a threatened species. These large pelicans weigh up to 30 pounds and flaunt huge beaks almost the length of their necks.
2. Royal Flycatcher
You may have to wait until the breeding season to see this colorful crown, as that's when a royal flycatcher shows off its hammerhead crest of bright red and bluish feathers.
At other times, the crown stays flat on the head, with the tips visible around the nape. Where can you see this bird? In Mexico, parts of Central and northern countries of South America.
3. Belted Kingfisher
It's a bird with shaggy hair and one crazy-long bill. A belted kingfisher has an enormous head for a medium-sized bird. You'll likely see it along streams in most northern states, as that's where it resides throughout the year. If you're south of Utah or Wyoming, you can see it in its wintering grounds, and if you're north of these two states, you live in the bird's breeding range.
It'd be so fascinating to see more types of kingfishers with different crests and colors. Trust me, they're amazing!
4. Grey Crowned Crane
This one brings another crazy hairstyle to our list. Instead of soft-looking feathers like other species, it has spiky hair. These golden plumes of a grey crowned crane contrast its white cheeks and red gular sac under the chin.
You may spot these cranes in the wetlands and grasslands of east and south Africa.
5. Silver Pheasant
The male bird has a black crown that falls on the neck, contrasting a red mask, pink legs, and a white back. Its tail is also elaborate, as this is a large bird between 28 and 49 inches long.
Silver pheasants are in southeast Asia, so you need a birding trip there if you're in North America.
6. Golden Pheasant
A male pheasant is more colorful than the bird above, thanks to its combination of a golden crown, a black and orange cape, and a red underbelly. That's not all, as you'll also see bluish flight feathers and a greenish back.
Its beauty is also a curse because it's a common captive bird.
7. Crested Duck
A puff of white or off-white hair sits on the crown of a crested duck like a cotton ball. This phenomenon is a genetic mutation of the skull, which makes the crazy hairdo of a crested duck accidental rather than a beauty feature.
8. Victoria Crowned Pigeon
Pigeons are common but not the most popular species for birders. Thus, it's possible to overlook the stunning crown of this pigeon. It's a large bird, about 30 inches long, with a blue-gray back and a maroon chest.
Interestingly, the Victoria crowned pigeon got its name for its regal head feathers that give it royal poise worthy of the likes of Queen Victoria.
9. Red-crested Turaco
As its name suggests, it has a stunning, neat red crown. The best thing about this species is that both sexes have the same plumage, so it's easy to tell when there's a red-crested turaco in your backyard.
This large bird stays in a flock of about 30 avians. It perches on trees most of the day and comes down for food only.
It'll have you thinking there's a monkey around because it sounds like one. This crested turaco is one of the colorful birds of Africa and Angola's national bird.
10. Great Crested Grebe
It's the largest grebe in Europe, with some larger ones in the Americas. This exceptional swimmer catches prey underwater. It migrates to the edges of freshwater lakes during the breeding season, where a breeding pair participates in nest building.
A grebe's beautiful head plumage resembles a fan, a unique feature that had many hunting it to use these feathers on hats. That's how great crested grebes decreased in the United Kingdom.
11. Polish Chicken
The feathers on its head give it an unkempt look, and this funky long hair grows outward in every direction, even covering its eyes. Polish chickens are bred as show birds, although they also lay eggs. There are several varieties, ranging from black to black crested Polish chickens.
12. Eurasian Hoopoe
Its entire body is striking, but the upright crest with black tips takes all the attention away from the barred back. A Eurasian hoopoe also has a long bill with a sharp tip that it uses to stab other birds during territorial fights.
Many homeowners welcome Eurasian hoopoes to their backyards because these birds eat insect larvae and pupae, including that of a pest called the processionary moth.
13. Great Curassow
It's one of the few birds with crazy hair curled outward like a fan. The black crest and body contrast a distinct yellow knob on its bill. Great curassows are large birds weighing up to 10 pounds.
They attack even humans; hence, marvel at their beauty from a distance. The bird inhabits the lowlands of Mexico and Central America.
14. Crested Partridge
It's another beautiful bird that'll have you flying out of North America, specifically to Southeast Asia countries like Malaysia and Thailand, where this near-threatened species lives. It nests on the ground in rainforests. There are a few differences between the male and female crested partridge. The male has a vibrant red mohawk and a black body.
A female lacks a crest, and its body is green.
15. Wood Duck
The male duck is the most colorful of the sexes because it flaunts an iridescent green crest that's a different shade from its chestnut breast and bold black and white stripes. Overall, its head has over three colors.
Wood ducks are large birds, between 18.5 and 21.3 inches long, so they're larger than crows but smaller than geese. They hunt in water like waterfowl, but they also perch, nest, and fly in the woods.
You're more likely to see this species in the eastern and western marshes and swamps of North America throughout the year. The southern region and Mexico serve as the wintering range, while the breeding grounds are north.
BirdingHub Talk: These birds are BEAK-oning you to fly over and see them up close! Why not? Proceed here -- Birds With Long Beaks: 8 Beautiful Game With Extended Bills.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any birds that have hair?
No, birds have feathers, not hair or fur. Many birds with crazy hairdos, like the species mentioned above, have unique crest designs that resemble hair.
For instance, that of a white-cheeked turaco is so soft you may assume it's hair. Such feathers, filoplumes, have soft tips.
Feathers aren't decorative features only as they insulate and regulate body temperature. They also camouflage a species in the wild and protect the body from injuries.
What birds have feathers on their heads?
All birds have feathers on their heads, but some have a prominent puff called a crest, and crested bird species include the ones on our list.
Some, like the little egret, have one elongated feather, while others, like the great crested grebe, have an elaborate puff. Crests tell many species apart, especially species with unique crowns like the spiky hairdo of a crowned crane.
What kind of bird has a mohawk?
Many bird species have a mohawk, including the tufted titmouse, sulphur-crested cockatoo, and the royal flycatcher. These birds have erect feathers pointing upward or in different directions, while other species, like the crested partridge, have a hair puff.
These striking birds will have you touring the globe. For example, New Guinea hosts the sulphur-crested cockatoo and the western crowned pigeon, while the red-whiskered bulbul is in Asia.
It's a different experience compared to birding to see one species of birds of one color pattern, as there's no limit to what or how to define a funky crested bird. It can have one long feather on its crown or numerous feathers falling over its forehead and nape.
As long as the feathers on its crown are awkwardly longer than the rest, it's a crazy hairdo.