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Birds That Have Wings But Cannot Fly

When we think of birds, we look up in the sky but there are many birds that don't fly. Actually they cannot fly even if they want to. Some birds have smaller wings compared to their bodies and some are not designed to fly. However these birds make up for it with other abilities.

 Flightless Birds

Campbell Teal

Campbell Teal is a small flightless bird that lives primarily on Campbell island of New Zealand. It is an endangered species.

Common Ostrich

Ostriches are the largest flightless birds and are native to Africa. It cannot fly but run up to a speed of 70km/h. It has strong legs that help it run fast. It lays the largest egg among birds.


Dodo is a prehistoric bird that is now extinct. It lived on the islands of Mauritius. It was grey in color and had white feathers. Little is known about this bird, last sightings were recorded in the late 15th century. Scientists suggest that it could be able to run fast.


People often mistake this large bird with Ostrich, although it is the second largest bird after Ostrich. A full grown Emu could stand up to 6 feet tall. These birds are generally raised by farmers who use their eggs and meat for commercial purposes. The male incubates the eggs and sits there until they hatch. Emu too can run fast, upto 50 km/h.

Flightless Cormorant

Flightless Cormorants are native to Galapagos Islands of Ecuador. It is the only species of Cormorants to have lost the ability to fly. These birds look much like ducks with their webbed feet. They rely on fishes, eels and sometimes octopuses for food. It is a good swimmer.


Kiwis are among the smallest of the flightless birds, only about size of a domestic chicken but they lay the largest egg in relation to their body size of any species of bird in the world. Just like the Teals, these birds are native to New Zealand. New Zealanders take pride in calling themselves Kiwis, associating with the bird.


Penguins are cute looking flightless birds of the Antarctica. Penguins are excellent swimmers which is why they don't have regular feathered wings, instead they have flippers. They walk almost limping on their legs. Unlike other birds, penguins do not make nests, they lay their eggs on ground and the parents keep them warm by holding them onto their feet.


Weka, also known as Maori Hen, is another flightless bird from New Zealand. Weka comes from Rallidae family of ground-birds. It is small in size and preys on small insects and fruits.

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