When it feels threatened, the Amazonian royal flycatcher sometimes fans out its bright crest feathers, opens its mouth, and waves its head from side to side.
Photograph by Andrew M. Snyder, NIS
Burrowing owls—like other owl species—can turn their heads almost completely upside down. This helps them to better see things that are above them in open areas across North and South America.
Photograph by Gina Hendrick, Shutterstock
The Raggiana bird of paradise usually hangs out by itself in its home of Papua New Guinea, a country near Australia. But sometimes the long-feathered males get together to put on dazzling dance moves for nearby females.
Photograph by Phil Savoie, NPL, Minden Pictures
The Silkie chicken has a real soft side. This fluff ball grows furlike feathers just about everywhere on its body, including its toes!
Photograph by Westcott, iStockphoto
That’s not a bump on its beak. The bright-orange male Andean cock-of-the-rock, Peru’s national bird, has a bizarre tuft of feathers between its eyes. Even weirder: One of the bird’s calls sounds just like a pig’s squeal!
Photograph by Vladislav Jirousek, Dreamstime
The common hoopoe can be found in Africa, Europe, and Asia. But there’s nothing common about this bird’s appearance. It raises its black-and-white tipped crest when it’s alarmed or excited, revealing a funky hairdo.
Photograph by Sergei Zlatkov, Dreamstime
A king vulture may be bald from the neck up, but this adult can sure turn some heads! The extraordinary colors on its skin usually appear sometime after it turns four.
Photograph by Miroslav Liska, Dreamstime
Africa’s secretary birds are famous for their snake-hunting abilities. They raise the funky feathers on the back of their heads when they attack prey.
Photograph by Jacoba Susanna Maria Swanepoel, Dreamstime
During breeding season, when great frigatebirds perch in trees and bushes on remote tropical islands, the males will inflate their large red throat sacs to attract females.
Photograph by Stormcastle, Dreamstime
Found only on the coast of northeastern Australia, a male Victoria's riflebird sometimes makes an explosively loud call when it dances, showing off its bright-yellow mouth.
Photograph by Tim Laman, National Geographic Creative, Nature Picture Library
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BONUS: Check out this fun video of a Victoria's riflebird doing its dance.
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