Learn a Lot About What a Bird Eats From The Shape of Its Beak

Learn a Lot About What a Bird Eats From The Shape of Its Beak

Chiseling

beaks of birds beak

Woodpeckers use their beaks to bore into tree bark to obtain sap and insects. Their beaks have a springy structure that absorbs the impact of hitting a tree trunk 100 times a minute

Scavenging

beaks of birds

Scavengers such as vultures have powerful, hooked beaks. Like built-in knives, these allow birds to tear through the flesh of carcasses with ease

Raptorial

beaks of birds

Hawks, eagles and other carnivorous birds use their sharp, hooked beaks to catch and kill their prey, ripping into the skull or neck and tearing the body into bite-sized pieces.

Surface skimming

beaks of birds

Skimmers such as herons and phalaropes have blade-like beaks. They feed by lowering the longer, lower jaw into the water and snapping it shut once they touch a small fish.

Pursuit fishing
beaks of birds

This relatively flat bill helps aquatic birds to catch fish when they dive underwater. A cormorant is good at using its beak this way, piercing fish with the hooked upper bill.

Dip netting

beaks of birds

Pelicans use their large, pouch-like bill to strain excess water once they have caught a mouthful of fish. It also attracts potential mates and scares away predators.

Filter feeding

beaks of bird

Flamingos feed upside down using their upper bill as a scoop. Their fleshy tongues act like a pump to filter water, leaving behind the tiny marine life that these birds feed on.

Grain eating

Bird beaks

Finches are equipped with short, stout, cone-shaped bills. They use their upper and lower mandibles like a nutcracker, to break open tough seed cases and grain.

Nectar feeding

Bird beaks

These needle-like beaks can probe flowers, providing a sheath for the bird’s tongue. Nectar is drawn up by capillary action, similar to a paper towel absorbing water

Fruit eating

Bird beaks

Toucans have an oversize beak for reaching hanging fruit. It also helps to keep them cool by allowing heat to escape, using a network of blood vessels to control blood flow.

 

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