Top Ten Most Rare Rainforest Birds in the World

Some of the most beautiful creatures in the world live in the planets rainforests. Unfortunately, due to deforestation and other human interaction, the amount of forest area has been in steady decline for several decades. Here are the top ten most rare rainforest birds in the world.


Keel-Billed Toucan

The Keel-Billed Toucan is a very colorful bird found in Latin America. Due to its beauty it is recognized as the national bird of the country of Belize. They are a moderate size bird and typically ranges in length between 17 to 22 inches. Like most toucans, the Keel-Billed Toucan is a very social bird and is rarely seen alone. They typically travel in small flocks ranging between 6 and 12 birds.


Great Hornbill

The Great Hornbill is one of the largest members of the hornbill family,. They are found in the forests of Nepal, India, and southeast Asia. These amazing birds can leave up to 50 years in captivity. The Great Hornbill can grow up to 51 inches long and weigh as much as 8.8 pounds. Their most prominent feature is the bright yellow and black casque on top of its massive bill. Interestingly enough, the large casque serves no known purpose and is believed to be the result of sexual selection. Much like many of the other birds on this list, its rarity is due to endangerment as a result of habitat loss.


Hyacinth Macaw

The Hyacinth Macaw is a parrot native to central and eastern South America. With a length of up to 3.3 feet, it is the largest macaw and flying parrot species in the world. Habitat loss and trapping wild birds to be sold as pets have taken a heavy toll on their population. These birds are noted for their blue and yellow color. The Minnesota Zoo along with BioBrasil, and the World Wildlife Fund are all actively involved in their conservation.


Malachite Kingfisher

The Malachite Kingfisher is widely distributed in Africa south of the Sahara desert. As its name implies, the Malachite Kingfisher primarily eats fish. Despite its small size of only about 5.1 inches long, it is a very powerful bird and is capable of capturing fish several times larger than itself. It prefers to live on the outskirts of shallow ponds or slow-moving bodies of water. Due to its small size and limited habitat, it is one of the rarest birds in the world.


Golden-necked Cassowary

Golden-necked Cassowary is a flightless bird. It the third largest species of bird in the world after the Ostrich and Northern Cassowary. Males can get up to about 82 pounds and females have been reported being as large as 128 pounds. They are found in the coast swamp and lowland rainforests of northern New Guinea. They are considered vulnerable on the list of threatened species. Hunting and habitat loss are the two largest contributors to their population decline. An estimated total of 9,300 birds are left in the world.



Black-headed Trogon

The Black-headed Trogon is a bird found in the subtropical and tropical dry forests of South America. They are becoming increasingly rare due to massive deforestation in their primary habitat. This bird is noted for its yellow belly and white spots on the underside of its tail.


Spectacled Owl

The Spectacled Owl is primarily found in Mexico, Central America, and the island of Trinidad. It is almost impossible to find a Spectacled Owl in nature due to it being nocturnal. Its primary habitat are tropical forests  and is the largest truly tropical owl in the world. They can grow up to 20 inches long and weight up to 1.5 pounds. They primarily eat small mammals including rodents, skunks, sloths and opossums.


Gray-winged Trumpeters

Located in the northern Amazon Rainforest, Grey-winged Trumpeters are a small family of birds known for their characteristic incredibly loud call. It is one of the most rare birds in the world to see in its natural habitat. Due to its loud and unmissable call, they are kept as pets by the Amerindians as sentinels to warn of incoming snakes and other threats.


Blue and Yellow Macaw

The Blue and Yellow Macaw is one of the most beautiful species of birds in the world. Their native habitat is in tropical forests in South America, but since the 1980’s a small population has been growing in Miami, Florida. These birds can reach up to 34 inches long and weight up to 3.3 pounds, making it one of the largest members of the Macaw family. Blue and Yellow Macaws typically mates for life. One of the reasons for their threatened status is due to their reproductive nature. A female will usually lay two or three eggs and when they hatch one chick will become dominant and the others will die. Another significant contributor to their threatened status is because of deforestation and urbanization in South America. Blue and Yellow Macaws are also popular as pets. They can be difficult to tend for though. Due to their large size they require a large cage, being at least 50 feet long. For those who can provide for their needs, they make excellent pets and are great companions.



Hornbills are typically found in tropical and subtropical Africa, Asia, and Melenesia. They are known for their long, brightly colored, downward-curved bill from which their name is derived. A number of species of hornbill are considered threatened with extinction. The primary reason is due to habitat loss and deforestation. Hornbills prefer to be diurnal, traveling in pairs or small family groups. Sometimes during non-breeding season, larger flocks fly together. In addition, they are typically monogamous birds.


Featured Image: Flickr by Adalberto H. Vega

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