List of birds by flight heights
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Migratory birds and birds of prey can reach substantial heights while flying. This list gives the highest recorded flights for various species (limited to observations of 4,500 metres/15,000 feet and above).
Birds by flight height
|Rüppell's vulture||Gyps rueppellii||Accipitridae||11,300 metres (37,100 feet).||Vultures use their excellent eyesight to scan the landscape below from a relatively static aerial position. Instead of flying over a larger distance, they use elevation to expand their field of vision. If they spot a meal down below, the climb has an immediate payoff.|
|Common crane||Grus grus||Gruidae||10,000 metres (33,000 feet)||This height was recorded above the Himalayas. This great height allows them to avoid eagles in mountain passes.|
|Bar-headed goose||Anser indicus||Anatidae||8,800 metres (29,000 feet)||They also fly over the peaks of the Himalayas on their migratory path.|
|Whooper swan||Cygnus cygnus||Anatidae||8,200 metres (27,000 feet)||This height was attained by a flock of whooper swans flying over Northern Ireland, and recorded by radar.|
|Alpine chough||Pyrrhocorax graculus||Corvidae||8,000 metres (26,500 feet)||This height was recorded on Mount Everest.|
|Bearded vulture||Gypaetus barbatus||Accipitridae||7,300 metres (24,000 feet).|
|Andean condor||Vultur gryphus||Cathartidae||6,500 metres (21,300 feet)|
|Mallard||Anas platyrhynchos||Anatidae||6,400 metres (21,000 feet)||This height was recorded over Nevada.|
|Bar-tailed godwit||Limosa lapponica||Scolopacidae||6,000 metres (20,000 feet)||It can reach this height while migrating.|
|White stork||Ciconia ciconia||Ciconiidae||4,800 metres (16,000 feet).||It can reach this height while migrating.|
- Laybourne, Roxie C. (December 1974). "Collision between a Vulture and an Aircraft at an Altitude of 37,000 Feet". The Wilson Bulletin. Wilson Ornithological Society. 86 (4): 461–462. ISSN 0043-5643. JSTOR 4160546. OCLC 46381512.
- Carwardine, Mark (2008). Animal Records. Sterling. p. 124. ISBN 1402756232.
- "The Ruppells Griffon Vulture; The Highest Recorded Flying Bird". Boston University.
- Lincoln, Frederick C. (1999). Migration of Birds. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. p. 30. ISBN 0160617014.
- Whiteman, Lily (2000). "The High Life". Audubon. 102 (6): 104–108. Archived from the original on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Gargiulo, Carolina Natalia (2012). Distribución y situación actual del cóndor andino (Vultur gryphus) en las sierras centrales de Argentina (PDF) (Thesis). Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires. Retrieved 2016-04-12.
- Elphick, Jonathan (2007). The Atlas of Bird Migration: Tracing the Great Journeys of the World's Birds. Struik. p. 23. ISBN 1770074996.