Bird Beaks

Bird Beaks

Did you ever wonder why there are so many different types of bird beaks?  The most important function of a bird beak or bill is for feeding. The shape affects what a bird eats. Beaks and bills are also used to identify birds.

This blog identifies a sampling of beaks and bills. Click on each photograph to enlarge.

 

Cone shape is to crack seeds and nuts

1 Black - headed Grosebeak
1 Black – headed Grosebeak

Thin slender pointed beaks are found mainly in insect eaters. They are used to pick insects off leaves, twigs and bark.

2 Warbler
2 Warbler

Strong beaks which taper to the tip, forming a chisel are used for pecking holes in trees for  food and nests.

3 Golden - fronted Woodpecker
3 Golden – fronted Woodpecker

Long tubular bills that resemble straws are used to sip nectar from flowers.

4 Rufous Hummingbird
4 Rufous Hummingbird
4a Ruby - throated Hummingbird
4a Ruby – throated Hummingbird

Hooked beaks are used to bite the skull or neck of the prey and to tear apart the body into bite size pieces.

5 Bald Eagle
5 Bald Eagle

Flat shovel shaped bills are use to strain plants, seeds and small animals from mud and water.

6 Green - winged Teal
6 Green – winged Teal
6a Ruddy Duck
6a Ruddy Duck

Beaks which are flat and wide at the base are found in birds which catch insects in flight. they often have “whiskers” at the corners of the mouth.

7 Western Kingbird
7 Western Kingbird
7a kiskadee
7a Kiskadee

Birds with long curved bears are used for probing.

8 White Ibis
8 White Ibis

Bills which form a pouch, scoop and hold the prey.

9 Brown Pelican
9 Brown Pelican

Long straight and pointed beaks are used for spearing.

10 Great Blue Heron
10 Great Blue Heron

One thought on “Bird Beaks”

  1. Oh, Micheal, I have never thought about the different beaks that birds have! Says something about each one, doesn’t it?

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