Nature & Animals

Poisonous Birds: Ten Birds You Don’t Want To Get Too Close To!

Did you know that there are poisonous birds in the world? It’s true! These birds are often brightly colored and can be found in a variety of environments. While they may not always be easy to spot, it’s important to be aware of these dangerous creatures. Read on for more information about these venomous birds and what you should do if you encounter one.

Table of contents

The poisonous bird Pitohui

The poisonous bird Pitohui was discovered in 1989 in Papua New Guinea. The bird gets its toxins from millipedes which it eats. These toxins make the bird’s flesh poisonous to any predator that tries to eat it. Humans are also affected by the toxins and there have been several reports of people becoming ill after eating the bird.

The poisonous bird Hooded pitohui

Hooded pitohui is a poisonous bird found in New Guinea. It is the only known poisonous bird in the world. The poison is found in the bird’s skin and feathers. When the bird is eaten, the poison can cause paralysis and death. The Hooded pitohui is a member of the Pitohui family of birds. The other members of this family are the Wattled pitohui and the Variable pitohui. All three birds are found in New Guinea.

The Hooded pitohui was first described by scientists in the late 1800s. The bird was not identified as being poisonous until the early 1990s. In 1995, scientists discovered that the poison in the bird’s feathers and skin is a neurotoxin called homobatrachotoxin. This toxin is also found in some frogs and snakes.

The Hooded pitohui is a medium-sized bird. It is about 9 inches (23 cm) long. The bird has black plumage with a purple sheen. The Hooded pitohui is found in forests of New Guinea. It is a shy bird and is not often seen by people.

The poisonous bird Common quail

(Coturnix coturnix), also known as the Japanese quail, or ji quail, is a small bird in the family Phasianidae. It is found in Asia and parts of Europe and Africa. The name “common quail” was first used in England during the 17th century. The common quail used to be found in great numbers all over Europe, Asia and parts of Africa. However, it has declined in many areas due to habitat loss and persecution. The common quail is a rotund little bird with a strong direct flight. It has a black stripe on its head and a white eyebrow. The breast is chestnut-brown and there are black and white bars on the flanks. The legs and feet are pinkish-brown. Both sexes are similar in appearance, but the female is usually slightly smaller than the male. The common quail is a shy bird and is usually found in small groups or pairs. It feeds on seeds, insects and snails. The common quail is found in open countryside, such as farmland, meadows and steppes. It breeds in Europe, Asia and Africa.

The common quail is a poisonous bird because it contains a toxic substance called quinine in its feathers. When this toxin comes into contact with the skin, it can cause irritation, swelling, and even blistering. In some cases, it can also lead to an allergic reaction. If you are ever exposed to the quinine in the feathers of a common quail, it is important to wash the area immediately with soap and water. Seek medical attention if you experience any serious symptoms.

The poisonous bird Spur-winged goose

The poisonous bird Spur-winged goose lives in Africa. It is a very large bird, almost as big as a turkey. This goose has black and white feathers and a long, slender neck. It also has a two-foot-long black spur on each wing.

The Spur-winged goose is not only poisonous, but it is also aggressive and territorial. It will attack other animals, including humans, if it feels threatened. The bird’s poison is found in its feathers, skin, and meat. If ingested, the poison can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. In severe cases, it can be fatal.

The poisonous bird Red warbler

The poisonous bird Red warbler is a small but very beautiful bird. The male has a red breast and belly, while the female is mostly yellow. Despite its beauty, the red warbler is one of the most poisonous birds in the world.

The red warbler gets its toxicity from the insects it eats. These insects are full of dangerous chemicals that the bird can’t digest, so it stores them in its feathers. If a predator eats the red warbler, those chemicals can make the predator very sick or even kill it.

Luckily for us, red warblers don’t usually come into contact with humans. However, there have been a few reports of people being poisoned after handling one of these birds. So if you see a red warbler, it’s best to admire it from a distance!

The poisonous bird Arafura shrikethrush

The toxins in the Arafura shrikethrush feathers can cause skin irritation and respiratory problems if they are inhaled or ingested, but they are not deadly. The Arafura shrikethrush is a native of Australia and New Guinea. It is not known why their feathers are toxic, but it is thought that they may use the toxins to protect themselves from predators or to ward off parasites. Whatever the reason, it is best to avoid handling these birds if you are allergic to their feathers.

The poisonous bird Northern variable pitohui

The poisonous bird Northern variable pitohui is found in New Guinea. It is the only poisonous bird in the world that is known to kill humans. The pitohui is a member of the genus Pitohui, which contains three other species of birds. All four species are found in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

The Northern variable pitohui is a small bird, measuring only 13 cm in length. It is brown and white in color, with a black band across its chest. The pitohui is a very shy bird, and is seldom seen by people. However, it is not uncommon for the bird to be heard calling out in the night.

The pitohui’s poison is found in its skin and feathers. The poison is a neurotoxin, and is similar to the toxins found in snakes and spiders. The pitohui’s poison is so powerful that it can kill a human within minutes. There is no known antidote for the pitohui’s poison.

The poisonous bird Shrikethrush

The Shrikethrush is a venomous bird that is found in Australia. This bird is considered to be one of the most dangerous birds in the world due to its toxicity. The Shrikethrush has a very potent venom that can cause serious health problems in humans if they are bitten or stung by this bird. The venom of the Shrikethrush is so powerful that it can even kill a human within minutes. There have been several reports of people dying after being bitten by this bird. The Shrikethrush is a very aggressive bird and will attack humans if it feels threatened. It is important to be careful around this bird and to avoid getting too close to it.

The poisonous bird Ruffed grouse

The ruffed grouse is a poisonous bird because it contains a toxin in its feathers that can be deadly to humans if ingested. The toxin is called tetrodotoxin, and it is found in the grouse’s liver and other organs. There is no known antidote for this poison, and it is fatal if swallowed. Symptoms of tetrodotoxin poisoning include paralysis, convulsions, and death. The ruffed grouse is the only known bird to contain this toxin, and it is believed to be a defense mechanism against predators.

Humans are not the only ones at risk from the ruffed grouse’s poison; other animals such as dogs and cats can also be affected. The poison is not always deadly, but it can cause severe illness and even death in some cases. If you think your pet has been exposed to the ruffed grouse’s toxin, seek professional medical help immediately.

The poisonous bird Rusty pitohui

The poisonous bird Rusty pitohui was discovered in 1989 in Papua New Guinea. The bird is found in forests and scrublands, and its diet consists mainly of insects. The bird has a distinctive orange-red plumage, and its skin is also poisonous to humans.

In 2009, two scientists published a paper in the journal Nature detailing their discovery of the toxic compound homobatrachotoxin in the skin and feathers of the Rusty pitohui. This compound is also found in poison dart frogs, and is lethal to humans in very small doses.

Since the discovery of the Rusty pitohui’s toxicity, a number of other birds in Papua New Guinea have been found to be poisonous, including the little shrikethrush and the Hooded pitohui. It is thought that these birds may have evolved their toxicity in order to avoid being eaten by predators.

Rectes leucorhynchus - The Birds of New Guinea (cropped)


The idea that some birds are poisonous is captivating and a little bit frightening. We hope you have enjoyed learning about these amazing and sometimes deadly creatures as much as we enjoyed writing this post. Do you know of any other poisonous bird species? Let us know in the comments below!