The Bird With The Largest Wingspan Is The?
Answer: Wandering Albatross
Among the world’s largest birds there are some pretty impressive wingspans. The Golden Eagle averages a wingspan of 5 feet 11 inches to 7 feet 8 inches. The California Condor has an impressive 8.2 to 9.8 feet wingspan.
But beyond that, in a class all its own, is the Wandering Albatross. The largest verified wingspan measurement of the giant bird clocked in at 12 feet 2 inches (the general range is 8 feet 3 inches to 11 feet 6 inches). Additionally, there have been sightings (albeit with unverified measurements) of Wandering Albatrosses with wingspans in excess of 13 feet.
So what does the Wandering Albatross do with wings that big? Well, it wanders. Because of their enormous wingspan, they can fly for hours at a time without a single flap of their wings. They can glide 22 meters for every meter of drop in elevation–after rising to their cruising altitude, so to speak–and usually only land to feed and breed.
Although it’s difficult to track the movements of the birds, one particular banded Wandering Albatross was observed traveling 6,000 kilometers in a mere twelve days. Clearly the term “wandering” is well suited here.
Image courtesy of JJ Harrison.