Flightless birds are a small group of birds that naturally are unable to fly; they include penguins, kiwis, ostrich and emus. Many swim, while some run.

Magellanic Penguin Patagonia-8349

One of the most well-known flightless birds today is the penguin.

Two key differences between flying and flightless birds are the smaller wing bones of flightless birds and the very small keel on their breastbone. The keel anchors muscles needed for wing movement. Flightless birds also have more and different types of feathers than flying birds.

New ZealandEdit

New Zealand has more species of flightless birds (including the kiwis, several species of penguins, and the Takahe) than any other country. One reason is that until the arrival of humans roughly 1000 years ago, there were no land predators in New Zealand; the main predators of flightless birds were larger birds. Becuase of this, Many flightless birds have became extinct; most notably the Dodo.

List of recent flightless birdsEdit

The following are flightless birds during or after the Holocene period.


Podicipediformes (Grebes)Edit

Pelicaniformes (Pelicans, Cormorants, et al)Edit

Sphenisciformes (Penguins)Edit

Coraciiformes (Kingfishers, Hornbills, et al)Edit

Anseriformes (Waterfowl)Edit

Ciconiiformes (Herons, Ibis)Edit

Gruiformes (Cranes, Rails)Edit

Charadriiformes (Gulls, Terns, Auks)Edit

Psitticiformes (Parrots)Edit

Columbiformes (Pigeons, Doves) Edit

Caprimulgiformes (Nightjars)Edit

Passeriformes (Perching Birds)Edit