Learn a Lot About What a Bird Eats From The Shape of Its 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
Scavengers such as vultures have powerful, hooked beaks. Like built-in knives, these allow birds to tear through the ﬂesh of carcasses with ease
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.