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13 Birds with Long Tails (with Pictures)

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white throated magpie perching

All birds, even flightless species, have tail feathers. Even so, tail feathers are overlooked due to the glorious wings of birds. However, some birds have extra-long tails that are impossible to miss.

Learn about 13 birds with long tails below:

13 Birds with Long Tails

1. Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia

ribbon tailed astrapia

Image Credit: feathercollector, Shutterstock

Scientific Name Astrapia mayeri
Body Size 12–14 inches

The Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia has the longest tail in comparison to its body size. Its tail feathers are three times the length of its body. On top of being long, its tail is super flashy, keeping in line with other Birds of Paradise species.


2. Green Peafowl

green peafowl

Image Credit: endri yana yana, Pixabay

Scientific Name Pavo muticus
Body Size 3.3–3.6 feet

It would be impossible to talk about birds with long tails without talking about the Green Peafowl, better known as a Peacock. These birds typically have tail lengths between 4.6–5.2 feet long.


3. Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo

greater racket tailed drongo

Image Credit: brian hewitt, Shutterstock

Scientific Name Dicrurus paradiseus
Body Size 7–25 inches

The Greater Racket-Tailed Drongo is a medium-sized bird with long gated outer feathers. Interestingly, the tail feathers have little webbings that allow the end of the tail to draw way beyond the bird’s body. In addition to the tail feathers, the bird’s crest is outrageous looking, almost like a rhino’s horn.


4. Long-Tailed Duck

A Long Tailed Duck swimming on clear water

Image Credit: Jim Nelson, Shutterstock

Scientific Name Clangula hyemalis
Body Size 17.5–23.5 inches

As its name suggests, a Long-Tailed Duck is known for its large tail feathers. The tail feathers stick right up out of the water, almost at a 45-degree angle. Long-Tailed Ducks are mainly found in the Arctic where they are considered the most populous bird in the area.


5. Alexandra’s Parrot

alexandra's parrot

Image Credit: Susan Flashman, Shutterstock

Scientific Name Polytelis alexandrae
Body Size 18 inches

The Alexandra Parrot, sometimes called the Princess Parrot, is a type of parakeet. Like most other parakeets, it has a long tail, especially the males. Males normally have 11–14-inch tail feathers that complement the rest of the bird’s body.


6. White-Bellied Go-Away Bird

white bellied go away bird

Image Credit: Rich Lindie, Shutterstock

Scientific Name Corythaixoides leucogaster
Body Size 20 inches

White-Bellied Go-Away Birds have flashy tails. The part of the tail closest to the bird’s body and the tips are black, but there is a thick white stripe in the middle. The length of this bird’s tail is typically 24 centimeters or 9 inches.


7. Streamertail

red bellied streamertail

Image Credit: Sujatha Vempaty, Shutterstock

Scientific Name Trochilus polytmus
Body Size 3.25–3.5 inches

Streamertails are a type of Hummingbird. Of all the hummingbirds, the Streamertail has the longest tail feathers. The body of the Streamertail is only about 3.5 inches long, but the male tail feathers add another 3–7 inches. These tail feathers are extra long in comparison to body size!


8. Fork-Tailed Flycatchers

fork tailed fly catcher

Image Credit: Rafael Goes, Shutterstock

Scientific Name Tyrannus savana
Body Size 15–16 inches

Flycatchers as a whole tend to have pretty long tails, but this is especially true for the Fork-Tailed Flycatchers. These birds have a unique tail in that it creates almost a V-shape with the outermost feathers being the longest and the center part being the shortest.


9. White-Throated Magpie

white throated magpie

Image Credit: Thorsten Spoerlein, Shutterstock

Scientific Name Calocitta formosa
Body Size 1.7 feet

The White-Throated Magpie is found in Central America and is a species of magpie-jay. These birds are gregarious, both in their personalities and their appearances. They have a very long tail that is slightly curved.


10. Great Argus Pheasant

female great argus pheasant

Image Credit: Danny Ye, Shutterstock

Scientific Name Argusianus argus
Body Size 28–30 inches

The Great Argus Pheasant almost looks like a Peacock, but it has much more muted colors. They even have very gaudy tails that are hard to miss whenever the feathers are stacked up. The tail and body are typically 41–56 inches long, making this one of the largest pheasant species.


11. Common Pheasant

common pheasant on the grass

Image Credit: Piqsels

Scientific Name Phasianus colchicus
Body Size 20 inches

Even Common Pheasants are known for having long tails. In male pheasants, the tails are about 20 inches long, but female pheasants only have tails of about 7.9 inches.


12. Superb Lyrebird

superb Lyrebird

Image Credit: Ken Griffiths, Shutterstock

Scientific Name Menura novaehollandiae
Body Size 34–39 inches

The Superb Lyrebird is one of the largest songbirds in the world. Its tail is impossible to miss. The tails are incredibly ornate and consist of 16 feathers. The males typically have tails that are 28 inches long and they resemble the lyre, after which the bird is named.


13. White-Tailed Tropicbird

white tailed tropicbird

Image Credit: OSTILL is Franck Camhi, Shutterstock

Scientific Name Phaethon lepturus
Body Size 26 inches

The last bird on our list is the White-Tailed Tropicbird. These birds are mainly only seen in Florida, Hawaii, and Bermuda. They are primarily white with a tail that is between 12–17 inches long.

eagle divider

FAQs

What Is the Longest Tailed Bird?

The Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia is considered the bird with the longest tail feathers in comparison to the bird’s body size. This bird’s tail is about three times the length of its body. Its tail is normally over a meter or 3 feet. Technically, larger species have larger tails outright, such as Peacocks.

Even though certain species have longer tails than the Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia, most scientists claim this bird has the longest tail in proportion to body size.

What Other Birds Have Long Tails?

In addition to the 13 birds listed above, here are some more species that have surprisingly long tails:

  • Motmot
  • Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher
  • Golden Pheasant
  • Long-Tailed Tit
  • Long-Tailed Widowbird
  • Indian Peafowl
  • Wilson’s Bird of Paradise

Conclusion

Next time you see a bird, try to pay attention to its tail specifically. Looking at the tail is easier on some species than on others. As with the species above, the tail is super large and impossible to miss. Even in other species, all birds have tails, which means every bird that flies by will have some tail feathers. Be sure to check them out!

Sources
 

Featured Image Credit: Martin Pelanek, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.

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