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
Thin slender pointed beaks are found mainly in insect eaters. They are used to pick insects off leaves, twigs and bark.
Strong beaks which taper to the tip, forming a chisel are used for pecking holes in trees for food and nests.
Long tubular bills that resemble straws are used to sip nectar from flowers.
Hooked beaks are used to bite the skull or neck of the prey and to tear apart the body into bite size pieces.
Flat shovel shaped bills are use to strain plants, seeds and small animals from mud and water.
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.
Birds with long curved bears are used for probing.
Bills which form a pouch, scoop and hold the prey.
Long straight and pointed beaks are used for spearing.