what is the largest bird in texas

Birds can be surprisingly large, especially if they spread their wings to an immense size and there are some very large birds in Texas.

These are the largest birds in Texas in order by weight but check out the lists at the end to find out those largest by size and wingspan.

With their impressive size they should be fairly easy to spot, but how many can you find?

How Big is a Whooping Crane?

Height: 5’3” Weight: 15 lbs Wingspan: 7’6”

what is the largest bird in texas

Whooping Cranes are the tallest bird in North America and among the tallest in the world, standing as tall as a typical high school freshman.

Their weight varies widely. Adults on the low end have been weighed at 9. 9 lbs, while the heaviest recorded is 18. 7 lbs. Males are generally about two pounds heavier than females.

They share the same remarkable seven and a half foot wingspans as Bald and Golden Eagles.

See our Where to See Whooping Cranes in Texas guide if you want to witness Texas’ largest bird in the wild.

How big is a Bald Eagle?

Height: 2’7” Weight: 12 lbs Wingspan: 7’7”

what is the largest bird in texas

The largest eagle and largest predatory bird in Texas is the bald eagle. The females are noticeably larger than the males, as is the case with most raptors.

The eastern third of the state is a regular spot to see this iconic bird, especially in the winter when migration causes their numbers to increase. They are found in small numbers in the state’s western two thirds.

An adult female Bald Eagle’s wingspan is seven feet and seven inches, which is one inch longer than that of a Whooping Crane. However, Whooping Cranes maintain their distinction as the largest bird (on average) in Texas when you factor in the smaller adult males, whose wingspans average 5 feet 11 inches.

Compared to Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles are generally about 1. 5 pounds more weight, making Bald Eagles the dominant bird in Texas skies. Since Golden Eagles are more of a west Texas species and Bald Eagles are more of an east Texas species, the two species don’t often come into contact.

See our guide on Where to See Bald Eagles in Texas if you’d like to see one in person.

26 Large Birds In Texas:

what is the largest bird in texas

Throughout the year, mute swans can be seen in Texas, where they are an invasive non-native species.

Among the biggest and heaviest soaring birds are mute swans. They were brought to beautify ornamental lakes and ponds and are non-native; however, they have since escaped into the wild and reproduced. They cause problems for native wildlife and can be aggressive.

They have long, graceful necks, orange bills with a big black basal knob, black around the base of the bill, and black legs. They are completely white. Adults look alike, although males are larger than females.

  • Cygnus olor
  • Length: 56 – 62 in (142 – 157 cm)
  • Weight: 416 oz (11789 g)
  • Wingspan: 84 – 96 in (213 – 244 cm)

Numerous Mute Swans can be found in lakes, protected bays, and city parks. They can also be found in rivers, estuaries, and shallow wetlands.

Mute Swans spend most of their time floating on water. When on the water, their primary food source is the underwater vegetation they forage for. They can also forage for sustenance on land, consuming crops and grass.

Mute Swans Call:

Interesting fact: When they perceive danger or threats, adult swans will fiercely defend their young. If the warning is disregarded, they will hiss as a warning and will chase after and attack the predator right away.

what is the largest bird in texas

In Texas, trumpeter swans are thought to be uncommon or accidental species, but they have recently been observed in the Dallas area.

The longest and heaviest native bird of North America still in existence is the Trumpeter Swan. It is also acknowledged as the world’s heaviest flying bird.

Adult Trumpeter Swans are all white with the exception of their black feet, legs, and bills. Their face has a black patch that looks to be joining their bills to their eyes. Occasional rust-brown coloring of their heads and necks may result from their contact with iron elements in wetland soils.

Young Trumpeter Swans have black bills that have a pink center, and are primarily dusky-gray in color.

  • Cygnus buccinator
  • Length: 58 – 72 in (147 – 183 cm)
  • Weight: 401.6 oz (11381 g)
  • Wingspan: 72 – 102 in (183 – 259 cm)

The densely vegetated marshes, lakes, and rivers are home to Trumpeter Swans. They breed in open areas near shallow waters. They are sometimes seen on agricultural fields, too.

Trumpeter Swans typically use their bills to reach underwater vegetation and aquatic plants when they are in the water. They can reach plants in deeper water thanks to their long necks; they will even tip over, much like a dabbling duck, to get at their food.

Trumpeter Swans Call:

Fun Fact: Trumpeter Swans generally mate for life. There is always one adult that stays with the nest while it is building. When it comes to defending their nesting site, they are both territorial and hostile.

what is the largest bird in texas

what is the largest bird in texas

Wild Turkeys are found in Texas all year. They have been observed according to up to 2% of summer and winter check lists that state bird watchers have submitted.

The heaviest of the Galliformes, wild turkeys are the progenitors of domesticated turkeys. When they are puffed up and preening, their bodies appear spherical and plump.

The small, bald, reddish-blue heads of adult male wild turkeys are adorned with fleshy projections known as caruncles. They have red wattles hanging from their necks and throats.

The long, dark brown tails of males are fanned out and have rusty or chestnut tips. Although the feathers on their body are dark and black, they typically feature a glossy mix of red, purple, green, copper, bronze, and gold.

The bodies of adult female wild turkeys are primarily gray and brown in color, and they are smaller than those of males.

  • Meleagris gallopavo
  • Length: 43.3 – 45.3 in (110 – 115 cm)
  • Weight: 88.2 – 381.0 oz (2500 – 10800 g)
  • Wingspan: 49.2 – 56.7 in (125 – 144 cm)

Mature, mixed forests with a good mix of oaks and pines and a good amount of cover and openings are home to wild turkeys. Pastures, fields, and orchards are usually preferred habitats.

Most of the time, wild turkeys forage on the ground in search of berries, nuts, acorns, and other seeds. They search the ground and beneath leaves, but occasionally they scale low trees and shrubs in search of fruit. They also eat salamanders, snails, beetles, and other insects. They may visit backyard feeders too.

Fun Fact: Male Wild Turkeys court in groups. To entice females, they eat, spread their tails, and puff up their feathers. Observe how the hues of a wild turkey’s head and neck shift based on its mood.


What is the big GREY bird in Texas?

Skuas and jaegers. Skuas and jaegers are in general medium to large birds, typically with gray or brown plumage, often with white markings on the wings.

What is the large bird of prey in Texas?

The ferruginous hawk is the largest hawk in North America. With its puffed chest and stern eyes, it looks every bit like the classic hunter it is.

What is the white large bird in Texas?

Notes from Richard Gibbons: The Great Egret is a tall wading bird that occurs worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats, and is found in wetlands throughout the United States. Great Egrets are found in Texas year-round. Great Egrets are white, with long, yellow bills and long, black legs.

What are the big black birds in Texas?

Great-tailed Grackles are the type Texans are most familiar with. Males are large and lanky, glossy violet-black, and pale yellow eyes. Females are brown and about half the size of males. Since they are smaller and require less to eat, female Great-tailed Grackle chicks have a higher survival rate than males.