31 Birds With Hair You Should Know

At times, nature surprises us with things that we least expect. This comes in many forms. Sometimes, we find amazing ways of life in different species, different ways of adapting to different environments, and at times, stunning outwards appearances that some species have.

One among the surprising appearances is birds that have hair! Sounds unbelievable but the feathers some birds have on their heads look like real hair and it is wonderfully amusing to see the different styles of hairdo that they sport. There are crazy styles like the polish chicken, some with spiky hair like the Grey-crowned Grebe. Some of them even have us laughing a lot!

The length or the size of the feathers notwithstanding, these birds look fantastic with their unique styles.

Let us take a peek into their amazing world.

Victoria Crowned Pigeon

birds with hair

Where do you think these birds get their name from? A small clue is that the feathers on their heads look like a crown. If you guessed that they are named after Queen Victoria, you are right! The hair of these birds is so splendid that they have been named after her. The feathers that form such an exquisite display are a star attraction in the world of birds. They are birds with big hair and their place of residence is New Guinea situated in the north of Australia.

Eurasian Hoopoe

birds with hair

Eurasian hoopoes are incredible birds with some noteworthy characteristics. They have feathers on their heads that look marvelous. The most interesting part of this is that they can raise this crown of feathers whenever they want to in a spectacular show. These feathers on the head end in black and this design attracts a tremendous amount of attention to the bird.

There are more surprising things about this bird that are very interesting. For instance, the beak of the bird is something that holds our interest. In appearance, the beaks are long and sharp. These beaks also have built-in muscles that are super strong. The beaks are finally so strong that they can actually open their beaks even after they have put the beak into the soil.

The strength of the beak can be a disadvantage to the other birds of the same species. There are fights that ensue between birds and when they are fighting, they invariably use their strong beaks to defend themselves. In this process, they sometimes stab other birds, making them blind.

They are normally found in places like Europe, Asia, and North Africa. There are 9 different varieties of this type of bird.

This bird has a special way of safeguarding its nest and young ones. The females and the baby hoopoes produce a liquid that smells repulsive. This liquid actually covers the chicks and the nests and the smell is so repulsive that predators do not dare to come anywhere close.

Silver Pheasant

The male Silver Pheasant has lovely white feathers that cover the back and continue well into the tail that is lengthy. The feathers look like hair that is really long and it looks like it is flowing gracefully down their backs.

These birds are normally found in forests located in the mountains of South East Asia and China.

Western Crowned Pigeon

The western crowned pigeon is known for two things. One of these is the trendy hairstyle on their heads thanks to the white feathers that they have. The other is that they are the biggest of all pigeons. They are usually found in New New Guinea.

There is a darker side to having such beautiful plumage. Sadly, this bird is hunted for the beautiful head feathers it has. This, along with a continuous loss of habitat, has put this bird on the IUCN Red List and they have been listed as vulnerable.

Grey Crowned Crane

These birds are cranes and are pretty tall. They grow up to 3 feet tall easily. They weigh about 7,7 lbs or 3.5 kgs.  They have a beautiful tuft of hair on their heads filled with hair that is spiky. They are normally found in eastern and southern Africa.

The play of colors on their faces makes them look spectacular. They have a bright, impressive mix of vivid colors such as black, white, and red on their faces. Added to the beauty of these colors is the tuft of stiff hair on their heads.

There are other feathers that resemble hair on this bird’s body. They have grey feathers which are really long-running down their bodies elegantly. These feathers also remind us of hair greatly.

Crested Duck

Look at the picture of this bird. Doesn’t it look well-groomed? What gives us that impression? The hair on the top of their heads gives them the appearance of a well-groomed bird. I wouldn’t be surprised if this bird had just stepped out of a hair salon!

But wait. Is this all good? Unfortunately, this crest on the head is actually due to a genetic mutation. This sadly causes a skull deformity in the bird which can actually be fatal.

Though these birds originated in the East Indies, they were brought once again to Europe because of their unique head feathers.

A crested duck need not always have chicks that also have crests. This is because it is only a genetic mutation and hence, is not necessarily passed on from the mother to the chicks.

Red-crested Turaco

Look at the magic of colors on this bird! The red feathers on top of their heads are their crowning glory. The red contrasts the various shades of green on their bodies amazingly well. These two colors compliment each other and heighten the beauty of this bird. The feathers on the head measure up to 2 inches or 5 cm in height.

They are native to Africa. They are noticed easily as they are huge and their sound also attracts as they actually sound like monkeys.

Imagine a colorful flock of about 30 of these birds brightening up a whole tree and that is exactly what they do.


Emus are so big that they come under the largest birds in the world. They are, in fact, so tall that even people are shorter than them. They are native to Australia.

They have black hair on their heads and this color is a direct contrast to their remarkable, orange eyes.

Emus are not only very big but also extremely fast. Their speed reaches about 30 mph (50 km/h)

There is something very different and strange about these birds. They can go without eating for weeks together and may refrain from drinking water also quite often.

Wood Duck

Ducks are birds whose colors are highlighted by the fact that they are in the water most of the time. This is true with the males of the Wood ducks too. They have lustrous green colored hair on their heads which only looks more astonishing when they are in the water. They are easily the most breathtaking of all the ducks in North America. The females of the species, however, lack the punch of the shimmering green on the head. Compared to the males, they are actually dreary because of their plain, brown coloring.

Polish Chicken

How fashionable can a bird actually look? The Polish chicken is the answer to this question. The bird looks very trendy with really long hair. With such long hair drooping on their faces, they find it difficult to see clearly. Don’t you think the first thing they need is a haircut?

There are three varieties of this amazing species. They are the bearded, non-bearded, and frizzle types. Due to their good looks, they are used as show birds. But, they are also capable of producing a lot of eggs.

Marabou Stork

The other name for this bird is the undertaker bird. Why do they have such a name? Well, they love to eat flamingo chicks and hence are called undertaker birds. They are enormous birds with really big beaks.

This species has a lot of white feathers which are frizzy and look like hair. This is highlighted even more because their faces are completely bald.

But there is a reason behind their bald faces. These birds can get into really bad moods and they are in the habit of feeding on carcasses of dead animals. When they do this, their bald faces ensure that the blood from the carcass does not stick onto the feathers and make them dirty.

Many of them flock together normally at human waste dumps in Africa.

Red-Whiskered Bulbul

This pretty bird has a tuft of hair that peaks up straight on its head. Though it originated in India, it now is a part of the US as a result of escaping from an aviary in Miami.

They are identified easily by the bright red patch which looks like whiskers. They move together in large numbers and love eating fruits and insects.


The male of the species is the epitome of elegance. The tuft of white hair on their heads adds a look of finesse to the bird. They are native to Europe and like to eat fish.

They do not make their own nests but are in the habit of using woodpecker’s nests in trees that have been abandoned.

Demoiselle Crane

Demoiselle cranes have lanky, graceful necks. The elegance of their necks is emphasized by the long hair that originates from their eyes and extends all the way down to their necks.

These birds are native to Eurasia and are known to be the smallest of the cranes.

Though they are the smallest, they achieve great feats. For instance, every year, when it is time for them to migrate, they actually fly over the highest mountain range in the Himalayas! Apart from this, when it is the breeding season, the dance that these birds do is spectacular.

Nicobar pigeon

These birds are cousins of the Dodo. There is an amazing display of vivid colors on this bird which makes it look stunning. They are native to the Indian islands.

Crested Partridge

This dramatically impressive bird has bright red hair that makes it stand out. However, they have a more important and conspicuous feature that is unique to them. They have bright red, bare skin surrounding their eyes and this is an exceptional feature.

They are native to Southeast Asia. Very frequently, they are spotted on the ground as they forage for insects in piles of leaves lying around.

Great Curassow

There are many birds that have long hair on their heads and the Great Curassow is also one such bird. But the difference about this bird is that the hair on the head takes the shape of a fan. The awesome contrast of the black feathers and the strikingly yellow beak cannot be missed.

These birds are native to Mexico and Central America. They normally live in small groups of about 10. Though they spend a lot of time searching for food on the ground during the day, they rest in the trees at night.

These birds are known for their longevity as they can live for a minimum of 24 years. This is not the only thing they are known for. They are also famous for being belligerent even towards human beings.

They have found a place in the list of vulnerable birds in the IUCN Red List.

White-crested helmetshrike

The dazzling yellow lacing around the eye is prominent in the bird. The peaked white hair on the head of the White-crested Helmetshrike is another major addition to the spectacular appearance of the bird.

They are native to Africa and go around in flocks searching for and eating insects.

Great Crested Grebe

This bird is native to Europe and it is the largest of the grebe found there. The head feathers of this bird are unique as they look different in summer and in winter. In summer, these feathers fan out and look spectacular. This helps greatly during the courtship process. As the bird comes out of the water and shakes its head, the attractive feathers are bound to win a mate.

Though these feathers are so useful during courtship, they proved lethal to the bird as they were hunted down rapidly for these beautiful feathers. The plucked feathers were used to adorn the hats of ladies.

The appearance of the head feathers undergoes a big change in winter. During the colder months, the black and white are not as sensational and the feathers do not fan out like a mane.

Philippine Eagle

The Philippine Eagle also has hair on its head but it is not as colorful as the hair of many other birds. However, this does not mean that it is not attractive. The way it flares up is outstanding. This is made more noticeable because this hair borders their faces that are black.

They are huge and have the pride of being among the largest eagles in the world. This is not at all surprising as they measure more than 3 ft in length.

Though they are popularly known as the Philippine Eagle, they are not found in more than 4 islands in the Philippines. Their diet includes monkeys, lemurs, flying foxes, rats, birds, lizards, and snakes.

The relationship between the parents and the young ones in this species is a long-lasting one. The parents take care of their young ones for close to two years.

Unfortunately, there are not too many of them left and so they have been classified as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List.

Sulfur-crested Cockatoo

As the name indicates, this bird has yellow hair on its head. Added to this, there is yellow beneath the tails and the wing, and these two yellow areas complement each other perfectly well.

They are native to Australia and New Guinea. Though they are really beautiful, they can be very annoying pests as they destroy crops and also timber on houses and buildings.

These birds have long lives and are very shrewd.

Dalmation Pelican

Among pelicans, the Dalmation Pelican is known to be the biggest. These birds have marvelous rough hair that looks unkempt.

In length, they can reach 5 – 6 ft (160 – 180 cm). Their wingspan alone reaches 11 ft (350 cm)

They are native to Central Eurasia. They love to eat fish from freshwater lakes and rivers.

Royal Flycatcher

The crest of this bird is amazingly beautiful. It has vividly colored red feathers that have blue in the tips. The feathers form a fan shape. This striking fan is unfortunately hidden until it is time for the breeding season when it is used to attract a mate.

They are native to Mexico, Central, and South America.

Mandarin Duck

The male and females of this species look alike but only in winter. Most parts of their bodies are brown. However, during the breeding season, the male undergoes a wonderful transformation to become colorful. The beautifully colored hair on the bead attracts the other birds.

They are native to East Asia. However, they have been introduced to the UK and America. They are wild in the countries that they were introduced to.

They are not very easy to spot as they are bashful. They breed in thick forests near lakes that are not very deep. 

Curl-crested aracari

These birds are extremely colorful and belong to the toucan family of the Amazon. Their diet mainly consists of fruits but they also feed on the nestlings of other birds. The interesting thing about these birds is that they are good to keep as pets. They are dynamic and energetic birds.

Guianan cock-of-the-rock

These are hairy birds. Their hair is orange in color. They are native to South America and they make their nests in areas full of rocks. Their fans are shaped like crests and their heads are dazzling and radiant. These vivid colors provide a perfect contrast to the black of the body.

Great Blue Turaco

The hair of this bird is like bristles. It belongs to the species of Turaco and is the biggest of this species. In fact, it measures around 30 inches in length. (75 cm)

They are native to Africa in the Congo. Unfortunately, their numbers are decreasing as people hunt them for their meat and their beautiful feathers.

Tufted Puffin

These birds are native to the coast of the northwestern states and Alaska. During the mating season, their face is completely white and makes it look like the bird is wearing a mask. There is also a long tuft of hair that flows gracefully.

These birds tend to live in really big flocks and a staggering number of up to 3 million birds nest together in coastal areas. They make deep burrows for their nests.

Red-legged Seriema

These birds also have a tuft of hair but this tuft is above their beaks. They get very defensive when they are under threat. They react by making really loud sounds. They also get ferocious to chase the enemy. They attack the enemy using their strong claws and beaks. They are so good at fighting away enemies that they are kept by farmers in their farms as guard animals. They are used to safeguard the poultry on the farm.

Golden Pheasant

This is definitely one of the most beautiful birds ever known. They owe their beauty to three things. The first thing is the rich, gold-colored hair that they have. Second, comes their impressively long tails and the last but not the least is the rings of feathers down their necks. Why are these feathers special? They form lovely rings that actually look like a cape on the bird’s neck.

If you think that such a radiant bird should be very easy to spot, then you are mistaken. In spite of their conspicuous colors, these birds are very difficult to detect as they tend to hide in woodlands.

About the author

Hi, I'm Andrew. I am a highly experienced birder with a passionate interest in bird behavior and ecology. I have worked extensively with both captive and wild birds, conducting research on their natural history, physiology, and conservation. My work has taken me all over the world, and I have been lucky enough to observe some of the rarest and most exclusive species on earth. I am also an experienced teacher, having taught ornithology at both the college and high school levels.

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