What Are The Different Beak Types In Birds?

The different types of birds’ beaks are one of the main differences between the species. They change according to the animal’s diet.
What are the different types of beak in birds?

Without much effort, we can name different types of birds’ beaks. There are beaks that are more curved or straight, longer or shorter, more ‘flattened’ or more prominent. Do you know what causes these differences? Feeding every species! Find out everything in this article.

The types of birds’ beaks

Surely you’ve read or heard the phrase “nature is wise”, which couldn’t be truer. Every day, we become more convinced that each species has what it needs and gets the most out of it.

Each animal is endowed with physical attributes that allow it to interact with its environment. Birds are no exception and, therefore, we can find different types of beak.

The reason a hawk doesn’t have the same beak as a hummingbird has to do with feeding each species: carrion and nectar, respectively. If everyone had the same beak, their diets would be identical. And that’s not possible, as they don’t live in the same ecosystems.

What are the bird’s beak types?

We can speak of a wide variety of bird beak types (leaving out the other animals that also have them):

1. Hook-shaped

They are found in scavengers or birds of prey as they need to tear and pull the flesh of animals they hunt or encounter. The beak is strongly attached to the skull and is one of its distinguishing features, as it is also usually of a striking color in relation to the rest of the body. For example, the bald eagle has a large yellow beak.

The different types of bird's beak: hook

2. Triangular and small

Granivorous birds feed mainly on small seeds  and this is reflected in their beaks, which are small in size but fit perfectly with the rest of the body.

The different types of bird's beak: triangular

Canaries, sparrows and goldfinches are some examples of the smallest existing beak types. However, they are robust and manage to break seeds without problems.

3. Curved

They can be compared to the beaks of birds of prey, but they are less strong and end in a sharper tip. The reason is simple: they are used to open fruits and extract the pulp or seed from within them.

Bicos curvos: araras

4. Elongated

In this case, we are referring to the beak that insectivorous birds have. These species – among them, the woodpecker, the swallow and the tern –  usually hunt their food during the flight or insert their beaks into deep holes – for example, in a tree branch – to obtain food.

Woodpecker: elongated bill

5. In the form of a ‘spatula’

Shorebirds are aquatic and have beaks of different shapes and sizes,  but they meet two conditions: being flexible and long. That way, they can look for food at the bottom of the water without having to dip their heads.

the different types of bird beaks

6. Needle-shaped

Within the family of nectarivores, we highlight the hummingbird, whose elongated and slightly curved beak resembles a sewing needle. With it, this little bird can feed on the nectar of the ‘tube’ flowers.

The different types of bird's beak: elongated

Other types of nozzles

We can also find other more specific types of beaks, such as the pelicans: they have a kind of flexible ‘bag’ at the bottom that allows you to store the fish  after catching them with a big mouthful.

And let’s not forget  about filter feeders and their long, curved beaks like those of flamingos. They serve to eliminate water and salts and separate them from food.

Without a doubt, when it comes to birds, a phrase that fits perfectly is: “Tell me what kind of beak you have and I’ll tell you how you feed”.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button