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Birds on a Plane: The Top 9 Most Dangerous Birds You Wouldn't Want to be Trapped on a Plane With

The new film Snakes on a Plane is a box office success (whether it deserves to be or not is another question). Inevitably there will be a sequel or two, or maybe ten. While it might be Iguanas on a Plane or Squid on a Plane or even Cows on a Plane, we're going to take an early guess and say the next film will be called Birds on a Plane.


Cassowaries are big, unpredictable and aggressive ... and their kicks are strong enough to break bones (oh, and did we mention their dagger-like claws?).

If so, the director might want to consider using several (or all) of the birds listed below, as these are nine of the world's most dangerous birds.

1. Cassowaries

Cassowaries, an endangered species, are large, flightless birds that live in the rainforests, woodlands and swamps of Australia. Cassowaries are unpredictable, aggressive and are known to kick up their large, clawed feet. Their kicks are capable of breaking bones, and their claws have been likened to daggers.

2. Ostriches

Ostriches are suspicious, skittish and can be dangerous. They're the largest living bird (they can reach over 9 feet tall and 350 pounds) and they can outrun you (a steady 30 miles an hour for 10 miles straight). Like the cassowary, they have strong legs (their kick can kill a hyena) and sharp claws.

3. Canada Geese

Canada geese are very aggressive and, particularly if you (purposely or inadvertently) come near their nests or young, they may chase you away and even bite you.

4. Seagulls

Seagulls are extremely aggressive and are known to attack and even peck at people's heads to protect their nests and young. In fact, in Britain people have been forced to carry umbrellas to avoid the attacks, at least one woman was taken to an emergency room with deep beak wounds to her head, and a pet dog was killed by the birds.


Seagulls will attack humans to protect their nests and young (to the point where people in Britain have had to carry umbrellas to keep the birds away).

5. Owls

Owls are raptors, or birds of prey, and they use their talons and beaks to kill and eat their catch. In a closed space, or if the bird was scared or agitated, it could cause serious harm to you.

6. Hawks and Falcons

Also birds of prey, the sharp talons and beaks that hawks and falcons use to hunt, along with their quick speed and agility, pose serious dangers to humans, even if the birds are just babies (falcons' beaks are also specially configured to cut through the spinal cords of their prey).

7. Eagles

Eagles are strong (strong enough to carry away something that weighs four pounds), aggressive birds, and although they don't pose much of a danger to humans in the wild, in a closed space their beak and talons could easily harm a human. (FYI, they can eat about a pound of fish in just four minutes.)

8. Vultures

If cornered, a vulture (many species of which are now endangered) may hiss or make a low grunting sound at you. They, of course, also have sharp, hooked beaks that can tear meat, along with excellent eyesight.

9. Rheas

The rhea, native to South America, is a large, flightless bird that can grow to be 60-80 pounds. Though smaller than ostriches and not as aggressive as cassowaries, rheas have heavily muscled legs, hard spurs on their feet and their kicks can bring a force of 800 pounds per square inch.

Recommended Reading

Bugs that Bite: Interesting Facts & Necessary Precautions on the Insects That Crave You

Five of America's Most Dangerous Wild Animals -- How to Beware!


Operation Wildlife

National Geographic News

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