Top 15 Highest Flying Birds

Top 15 Highest Flying Birds In The World

Interested to know about the top highest flying birds and their name? Birds are among those few animals who can fly around the world. Many birds have these amazing flying abilities and skills. Some birds even can fly very high.

This article will explore the top 15 birds that can fly very high in the world. Also, this article will discuss the estimated highest range, description of their physical features, flight behavior, interesting facts, and characteristics of those high flying birds according to their species. 

Top 15 highest flying birds

This part will give the idea of the top 15 highest birds in the world according to their estimated range, physical features, and descriptions. Besides their altitude range and flight behavior will also be discussed here.

Finally, one interesting part about these species will be disclosed.

1. Rüppell’s Vulture (Gyps rueppelli) – Estimated highest range: 37,000 feet (11,300 meters)

Rüppell's Vulture

Rüppell’s Vultures is one of the highest flying birds around the world. Their estimated range is from 37,000 feet above sea level. Rüppell vultures are large, big birds with long 8 feet wingspan.

Their plumage is black or brown in a white pattern. They also have white collar feathers around their neck. Their weight is almost 6 to 9 kg. It can fly for 6-7 hours every day at 35 km/h speed. 

2. Common Crane (Grus grus) – Estimated highest range: 33,000 feet (10,000 meters)

Common cranes are also known for their highest flying range around the world. They are also known as Eurasian cranes because they are mostly common in Europe and Asian countries. Their wingspan is 5 to 8 ft long. Their weight is around 3 to 6 kg.

Their head has a red color patch that looks like a crown on them.  Their overall body is slightly grayish in color and has long legs. They migrate from one place to another with their high altitudes by covering long-distance journeys. They roam in groups and colonies while migrating. 

3. Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) – Estimated highest range: 29,500 feet (9,000 meters)

Bar-headed Goose is another species that has the highest flying ability in the world.  Their estimated range is 29,500 ft. Their plumage is brown, gray with a black bar on the head. Their weight is around 1.87 to 3.2 kg and their wings are around 5 feet.

They are familiar in Central Asia. In winter they can be seen in South Asia. They are known for their long altitude range. They are seen to migrate from the South to Tibet, Mongolia with covering lakes.

4. Alpine Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus) – Estimated highest range: 26,000 feet (7,900 meters)

Alpine Chough birds are associated with the same crow family. They are familiar with Spain, Europe, Central Asia, North America, and Nepal. They have glossy plumage, short yellow beaks, and short orange legs.

Their tails are comparatively longer than their wings. They build their nest higher in mountains or trees compared to other birds. They have a unique ability to solve problems or puzzle games. They can utilize any tools and sticks according to their need.

5. Andean Condor (Vultur gryphus) – Estimated highest range: 24,000 feet (7,300 meters)

Andean Condor is similar species of vulture group. Their wingspan is around 10 to 11 ft long and their weight is around 15 kg. They are the largest birds of prey in the world as per records. They have black plumage, white collar feathers around their neck, and bald heads.

They are often seen in the Andes, South America, and Santa Marta Mountains and soaring at high altitudes. They can glide smoothly by covering long distances. Compared to other animals they can live around  70 years  

6. Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) – Estimated highest range: 23,000 feet (7,000 meters)

The Whooper swan is another bird with the highest flying altitudes. They can fly up to 23000 ft high in the sky. They have long wingspan around 6 to 9 feet.

They have white plumage, mixed yellow-black beaks, and black legs. They breed in wetlands and build a nest around the watery place. Later they travel to temperate areas in winter. They fly in a flock by using various movements such as flapping their wings and shaking their heads. 

7. Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) – Estimated highest range: 22,000 feet (6,700 meters)

The bearded vulture is another similar species of vulture group. They are believed to be old vultures of the world whose ancestors are Egyptian vultures. They have a large wingspan around 7 to 9 ft long. They have small heads and necks in contrast to other bald-headed vultures.  They have brown-orange plumage and black wings. They can fly high above mountain areas like Zagros Mountain, Southern Europe, and the Alps. They are listed as threatened species as they are losing their population. 

8. Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) – Estimated highest range: 21,000 feet (6,400 meters)

Bar-tailed Godwit is another highest flying medium-sized bird around the world. They have long beaks which are pointed slightly upwards. They have grayish brown plumage.  Their wingspan is around 2 to 3 feet long. They spend the summer in the Arctic. During their breeding season, they breed in Alaska, and in the non-breeding season they migrate to Australia and New Zealand. They can fly up to 21000 feet above the sky and while they are flying they make a shape of v. They can fly nonstop without giving any pause for any stoppage.

9. Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis) – Estimated highest range: 20,000 feet (6,100 meters)

Red-Crested cranes are also known for their highest-range flying. They have red plumage on their head which looks like a crown. They are also known as Japanese cranes. They have black necks and tails and white plumage on the body.

Their height is around 5 ft and their wingspan is around 7 ft long. They have unique soaring flight patterns and can fly up to 20000 ft above in the sky. They hold a significant symbolism in Asian cultures of having good fortunes, blessings, and longevity. 

10. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) – Estimated highest range: 18,000 feet (5,500 meters)

Mallard is a medium-sized bird which is similar to duck species. They are familiar with Europe, Asia, North Africa, America, and Australian countries recently.

Their body is around 2 feet and their wings are 3 feet long.  They are adaptable filters with general altitudes. They make their wings beat and glide during their migration period. They are very adaptable to the environment and have a variety of habitats like lakes, ponds, and rivers. 

11. Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) – Estimated highest range: 17,000 feet (5,200 meters)

The Egyptian Vulture is another highest flying bird in the world that can fly around 17000 feet above in the sky. Their wingspan is around 5 feet long. They have a body of white plumage. Their wings are black-white combinations along with a yellow face. They soar at the highest range in the sky.

They can also move easily and quickly according to their speed which makes them agile flyers. They can utilize tools according to their needs. They have unique feeding habits where they drop the bones from the highest peak to break them.

12. Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) – Estimated highest range: 16,000 feet (4,900 meters)

Common Buzzard is another species of bird that can fly highest in the sky, approximately 16000 feet. Their wings are between 3-4 feet long and their body length is around 2 feet.

They have light brown plumage with short downward beaks. These birds can fly high in the sky which makes them skillful flyers.

They also cover long distances during migration seasons. They are mostly familiar in European countries, and islands like Atlantic Islands. They can easily adapt their direction, tail, and wings and adjust their flying ability due to environmental factors. 

13. White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) – Estimated highest range: 14,000 feet (4,300 meters)

White stock birds are large birds with a long wingspan of around 6 ft. They have white plumage on their body, long red legs, and beaks. They are familiar in Southern Asia, Africa, and Finland. They can cover long distances during breeding seasons. They roam in large flocks and migrate to other places during breeding. In Europe and Asian countries, these birds are also symbolized by good luck to their nature.

14. Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) – Estimated highest range: 13,000 feet (4,000 meters)

Black Stork is another highest range bird that can hover in the sky. They can fly around up to 13000 feet in the sky.  Their wingspan is around 6 feet. They have black plumage on their body and white plumage under their belly. They have long red legs and long red beaks.

In the summer they can be found in Eastern Asia to Europe. They prefer wooded places such as woodlands. They eat fish, insects, small mammals, etc. Sometimes they perform long glides to find food in the water. 

15. Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) – Estimated highest range: 12,000 feet (3,700 meters)

Northern Gannet is an ocean bird that flies above the Ocean or sea surface. Their estimated flying range is around 1200 feet above the sky. Their wingspan is almost 6 feet long. Their bodies are white-brown combinations with black wings.

They are familiar in the Atlantic Ocean. But during their breeding seasons, they go to Europe and North America. They have sharp eyesight that they can easily catch their prey from a very long distance. They have unique diving abilities. They fold their wings and dive into the water at high speed in order to catch fish.

Characteristics of High Flying Birds

Adaptation for long-distance flight 

High-Flying birds have a diverse ability and adaptation level to adjust to climate change and the environment. Their large wingspan and gliding ability let them migrate from one place to another effortlessly. With that ability, they can easily cover long distances without losing much energy.

They also have a high capacity of lungs and efficient oxygen in their body which helps them to breathe in the highest peak in the sky. They also have a cardiovascular system that allows their blood to flow into their body and muscles even when they are in a stable position. 

Wings shape and size

These high-flying birds’ wings are designed to fly at the highest altitudes in the sky.  These birds have really broad wings which help them to fly, and glide smoothly in the sky without using lots of energy. Their wings keep them stable and constant in the sky even in the heavy windy or stormy days.

Aerodynamic Features

High-Flying birds have aerodynamic features within them. Thus features help them to lift their body to very high altitudes. This can also help them to drag their body and move during their flight.  This feature makes them the highest flyers among other birds.

Muscular strength and endurance

In order to fly high and long distances these birds’ wings help them to muscular strength and endurance in their wings and body.  They have moderate muscle in the wings and breast areas which helps them to lift their body to a high position. 


Are any of the birds mentioned in the Top 15 Highest Flying Birds also considered powerful bird symbols?

Are any of the birds mentioned in the Top 15 Highest Flying Birds also considered powerful bird symbols? In bird symbolism, certain exceptional avian species are regarded as powerful bird symbols explained. While the highest-flying birds possess remarkable physical abilities, their symbolic significance varies across cultures. It is fascinating to explore the overlapping qualities between these impressive avian creatures and the rich symbolism they embody.


In conclusion, these highest flying birds represent their unique ability and adaptability to survive in the environment. All these high range flying birds’ long-distance migration, wing shape-size, aerodynamic features, and muscular strength and endurance let them soar to great heights and conquer the skies with these remarkable capabilities.

You can have a better understanding of these diverse species by reading other articles about them. For example, there are a lot of birds with long beaks with amazing adaptation quality. You may also explore the unique facts about eagles and their lifestyle of being incredible hunters. These birds out there with their unique quality will give you curiosity about their existence. 

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *