Bird Beaks and Bills
A bird’s beak or bill is an important part of their anatomy. Different birds have different types of beaks which are adapted to what they eat and their lifestyle. Beaks are also used to identify different bird species.
You can tell what a bird’s behaviour is like from observing its beak. Bird beaks are toothless but very strong and they do have tongues. Some birds have serrations along the edges of their beaks. The top and bottom of the beaks are called mandibles.
Nectar eaters have long, hollow beaks with which they suck the nectar from the flowers. Other birds, such as Hawks, Eagles and Vultures (raptors) have hooked beaks with which to rip open flesh.
Birds such as Spoonbills, Pelicans and Flamingos have very long bills which enable them to filter food from the water.
Short wide beaks like those of Vermillion Flycatchers are adapted for catching and holding on to insects.
Finches and Sparrows have short, but powerful beaks which are adapted to grind up seeds and nuts. The Avocet and the Ibis have beaks that are long, slender and curved upwards or downwards and are used to probe into the mud and gravel for food.
The images of bird beaks below are just some of the different shapes and sizes that different birds have.
A bird’s beak is an important part of their anatomy. Different birds have different types of beaks which are adapted to what they eat and their lifestyle.