12 Splendid Birds With Hair (With Pictures)

12 Splendid Birds With Hair (With Pictures)

Have you ever seen a bird that appears to have hair on top of its head? It may seem like some birds have hair, but they are, in fact, feathers. Birds don’t have any hair on their bodies at all. Nevertheless, birds with feathers on their heads can look as if they have crazy hairdos.

The “hair” on their heads is often called a crest or tuft. This extravagant feature adds to the style and splendor of birds lucky enough to sport such features as it enhances their body shapes, colors, and patterns that are already so eye-catching.

The “hair” on their heads looks splendid and is used for different purposes. One of the primary uses of the hair on their heads is communication with other individuals of the same species, such as showing excitement.

It also plays a crucial role in courtship displays as birds use their crests and tufts to woo potential mates. The crests are also used as a defense mechanism to scare possible predators and other threats away by making the bird seem larger.

In the following article, we look at 12 types of birds with “hair”, from those with spiky hairstyles to those with curly hairstyles.

1. Victoria Crowned Pigeon (Goura victoria)

The Victoria Crowned Pigeon is a stunning bird with hair on its head. This giant pigeon species has primarily blue-gray plumage and a massive blue crest with white feather tips. They have maroon chests, pale gray shoulder patches with a maroon edge, gray tail tips, dark blue face masks, and red eyes.

Victoria Crowned Pigeon

They occur in northern New Guinea, where they inhabit swamps and lowland forests.

They feed on the ground, where they find seeds, fruit, and insects.

2. Grey Crowned Crane (Balearica regulorum)

The Grey Crowned Crane is a large bird species with spiky hair on its head. Their bodies are dark gray, with a pale gray neck. They also have a chestnut area on the rear side of the wings, large white forewings, and a yellow patch on the upper wings. On the head, they have a black forehead, white cheeks with some red near the blue-gray eye, red throat wattles, and a large yellow crest.

This species occurs over an extensive range of southern and eastern Africa.

Grey Crowned Crane

They live in open grasslands, wetlands, marshes, agricultural areas, savannas, irrigation lands, and pastures.

Their diet comprises grasses, roots, insects, sedge seed heads, worms, frogs, lizards, and frogs.

3. Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata)

The Tufted Puffin is the largest puffin species – a spectacular bird with slicked-back hair. In breeding plumage, they have a plain black body, a white face, and two yellowish feather tufts extending from behind the eye over the nape. Their beak is thick and orange-red, and their eyes are pale yellow, surrounded by red eye rings.

In non-breeding plumage, they have shorter tufts, a dark gray face, and the beak is more petite and duller with more gray.

Tufted Puffin

In summer, they breed on grassy slopes along coastlines and rocky islands. They spend the winter on the open ocean after migrating from their breeding areas.

They occur in the northern Pacific Ocean and Arctic Ocean from the west coast of North America to eastern Asia.

They feed on small fish exclusively in the breeding season. In winter, they also eat crustaceans, squid, bristle worms, and pteropods.

4. Southern Crested Guineafowl (Guttera edouardi)

The Southern Crested Guineafowl is a magnificent bird with curly hair found in southern Africa. They inhabit woodlands, forests, and thickets.

This species has a small black head with a curly crest, red eyes, a bare blue-gray face, a white patch on the back of the head, and a grayish-white beak. Their bodies are chunky and black with bluish-white speckling and a white wing bar.

Southern Crested Guineafowl

This species feeds on plant materials such as seeds, fruit, young shoots, leaves, roots, stems, and bulbs. In addition, they eat spiders, insects, and millipedes.

5. Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi)

The Philippine Eagle is a massive, critically endangered bird of prey that can only be found in the Philippines. This rare species is found in forests of montane and lowland areas.

Their plumage is dark brown on the upper side, with pale edging on the feathers, and the underside is white. On the head, they have a large messy-looking brown crest that makes it look like they have hair running down the back of their neck.

Philippine Eagle

They have a dark face, pale blue-gray eyes, and a creamy-brown nape and crown. The beak on this species is enormous, and grayish-silver tipped in black.

It is one of the largest eagles in the world – feeding on mammals such as monkeys, cloud rats, bats, tree squirrels, civets, and flying squirrels, as well as birds, lizards, and snakes.

6. Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops)

The Eurasian Hoopoe is a beautiful bird with stunning plumage and a prominent crest colored orange with black and white tips. They have a cinnamon-orange or gray-orange head, neck, and chest and a long decurved beak. Their back and wings have black and white stripes, while the tail is black with a white stripe. The rump and belly are white.

Eurasian Hoopoe

They occur in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and northern sub-Saharan Africa. Individuals that live in sub-Saharan Africa, southern Asia, parts of North Africa, southern Europe, and the Arabian Peninsula remain all year round. Birds in most of Europe and Asia are migratory, spending the summer there to breed and moving south for winter.

They occur in grasslands, steppes, woodlands, savannas, orchards, agricultural areas, parks, and yards.

Their diet consists primarily of insects and spiders. They also eat leaves, roots, seeds, fruit, other plant matter, frogs, and reptiles.

7. Sulphur-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita)

The Sulphur-crested Cockatoo is a white bird with extravagant hair. They are primarily white, with a large yellow retractable crest, yellow tints on the underwing and undertail, and a dark beak and eyes.

Sulphur-crested Cockatoo

They inhabit forests, woodlands, forest edges, mangroves, agricultural areas, plantations, parks, and yards.

They are found in Australia, New Guinea, and the Aru Islands in Indonesia.

Their diet comprises seeds, fruit, nuts, roots, and insects.

8. Demoiselle Crane (Anthropoides virgo)

The Demoiselle Crane is one of the smallest cranes in the world. They are primarily gray with black on the neck and head. They also have red eyes and white tufts extending off the head from behind the eyes. They have distinctive dark wing tips, and the central part of the crown is grayish-white. The beak has a red end and gray on the base.

This species inhabits open fields, steppes, deserts, savannas, and shrubby plains with water nearby. In winter, they also occur on farmlands.

Demoiselle Crane

They migrate in flocks from the summer breeding grounds in central Europe and Asia to the Indian subcontinent and sub-Saharan Africa for winter.

This crane feeds on plant materials like grass seeds and grains throughout the year. In summer, it also eats insects, lizards, and worms.

9. Blond-crested Woodpecker (Celeus flavescens)

The Blond-crested Woodpecker is a spectacular-looking bird with blonde hair. This species has a yellowish-cream head and crest contrasting with the blackish body. There is yellow or buff barring on the upper side and a yellow rump.

Blond-crested Woodpecker

Males have red patches on the side of the face that females lack. Instead, females have cream-colored cheeks with dark streaking or blackish cheeks.

They occur in forests, plantations, orchards, wooded savannas, and yards of eastern-central South America.

Their diet mainly consists of termites and ants, but they also eat berries and fruit.

10. Smew (Mergellus albellus)

The Smew may be regarded as the most dapper of the mergansers with their impressive crest. Males of this small diving duck are a stunning white, with a black face mask, mantle, back, and nape. They have fine black barring on the flanks and side of the chest. They also have two thin black lines on the side of the chest and above the flanks. The rump and tail are gray.

The female has a gray body with a reddish-brown head and hindneck, a white throat, and a white cheek patch. Both sexes have black and white wings.

Non-breeding males look similar to females but have black upperparts and a white patch on the wings.


They are found in forested lakes, rivers, and pools in summer when they breed. They spend the winters in sheltered coastlines, bays, and estuaries.

Their breeding range extends from northern Europe across Asia to eastern Russia. They are migratory and winter locally further south in Asia and Europe.

The Smew feeds on small fish and aquatic insects.

11. Great Curassow (Crax rubra)

The Great Curassow is a large black bird with curly hair on its head. The males are mostly black, except for the yellow beak, bump on the beak, and white belly.

Females are more boldly patterned and variable. They are categorized into three primary color morphs. One is the barred morph which is barred all over the body. They have a blackish-gray head and neck, rufous on the wings and underside, and a black tail.

Great Curassow

The black morph has a gray head, a black neck, barring on the reddish-brown wings, and black on the back and tail. Lastly, the rufous morph is mostly reddish-brown with barring on the gray tail and a dark gray neck and head.

They inhabit mangroves and forests of northwestern South America, Central America, and eastern Mexico.

Their diet comprises seeds, insects, fruit, and small reptiles.

12. Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus)

Dressed in ornate orange, red and black plumage, the male Golden Pheasant is arguably one of the most beautiful birds in the world. Their most prominent feature is the extraordinary orange-yellow hair on the top of the head.

They have a rusty face, neck, sides, and throat, yellow wattles, and yellow eye rings surrounding pale yellowish eyes. They also have a green upper back, yellow lower back and rump, dark bluish wings, an orange neck, bright red underparts, dark red shoulders, yellow legs, and a long brownish tail with fine barring.

Golden Pheasant

The female is duller, mostly brown overall with barring. She has a buffy face and throat, primarily brown upperparts, paler underparts, and barring. The eyes are dark brown, and the belly can be buff, while the chest and flanks have buff barring.

These pheasants spend most of their time on the ground in woodlands and thickets in mountainous regions and valleys. They are native to central China but have been introduced to many parts of the world.

Like other pheasants, the Golden Pheasant feeds on seeds, berries, leaves, flowers, and other plant material. They also feed on insects and spiders.


Birds with crests and tufts that look like dazzling hairstyles are some of the most extravagant-looking species in the world.

You would’ve noticed after reading this article that each species has a unique crest or tuft size, shape, and color, which add to their uniqueness.

Depending on the species and season, you may only sometimes be able to see the crests and tufts. Some birds only have crests or tufts during the breeding season, while they are consistent features in others.

Some species, like the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, have retractable crests that they raise and lower flat on their heads.

These hairdos are essential for survival as they are used for communication, courtship displays, and defense mechanisms.

Since these species are so noticeable, they have become sought after, and many species are threatened due to habitat loss, illegal hunting, and collection for the pet trade.

We only covered a small selection of birds with extraordinary hairstyles in this article, but there are many more out there in the wilderness across the globe for you to discover.

Join the discussion