Wacky Bird Beaks

Have it crossed your mind, why some birds have such wacky beaks and how they manage to eat? Read on to learn more about these birds with oddly-shaped beaks.

Bearded Barbet

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A member of the woodpecker family, the bearded barbet is a resident breeder in tropical west Africa. This African bird is about 26 cm in length and weighs between 80 to 110 g. It has large head, with a short neck, and a short tail. A remarkable feature of this bird is the tuft of bristles under its beak that gives it the beard-like appearance hence its name. Themassive bill is use to feed on insects and fruit, as well as to pound holes in dead trees.

Common Crossbill

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A member of the finch family, Common crossbill is a common resident breeder in the dapper forests of North America, Europe as well as Asia. It is a small passerine bird noted for its large head and bill that overlap each other or crossed like an “X”. Nature intended it to be used in getting seed from tree cones. Take note that the bills of young ones are not crossed at hatching, but cross as they grow.

Rhinoceros Hornbill

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Inhabiting the rainforest of Southeast Asia, particularly in Sumatra, Borneo, and Java, rhinoceros hornbill is a large arboreal bird with long, heavy bills. A black bird with a white belly, adults can grow up between 110- 127 cm and can weigh up to three kg. Like most other hornbills, the male has orange or red eyes, and the female has whitish eyes. One of the distinctive characteristic of this bird is the presence of the “casque”, a structure on top of the bill. Rhinoceros hornbills are born with white beak and casque, but as they grow older the beak takes a red-orange appearance. The beak is primarily use to knock down fruits.

Sword-billed Hummingbird

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Sword-billed Hummingbird is a species of hummingbird found in Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Venezuela. It is very aptly named, for it has a bill that is longer than its body. The bill can grow up to four inches long as compared to its body that is only about 15 cm long. The long, pointed, probing beak of the sword-billed hummingbird comes in handy in sipping the nectar on flowers with long corollas. However, since the Sword-billed Hummingbird”s beak is very long, it grooms itself with its feet.

Brown Pelican

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The smallest of the eight species of pelican, the brown pelican measures 106–137 cm in length, weighs from 2.75 to 5.5 kg, with a wingspan from 1.83 to 2.5 m. It lives in tropical east Africa in large swamps from Sudan to Zambia. Brown pelican is a large dark bird with a white head, a light brown crown, and a long pouched bill. The bill and the flexible lower pouch is use like a net. A known a plunge diver, it drops from the air with its wings partly folded and dives into the water to catch its prey. It scoops up fish and water, drains the water from its pouch, and tips back its head to swallow the fish.

Shoebill Stork

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Shoebill stork is a large, grey, long-legged solitary African bird found inhabiting swamps. The shoebill measures about 110–140 cm tall. It has broad wings and with large, unwebbed feet. The spoon-bill owns a very specialized form of beak adapted for efficiently scooping prey from mud. It is flattened throughout its length, but ends in a broad, spoon-like expansion which it uses for scooping insects, worms, frogs, fish, mollusks, reptiles, and carrion out of the mud.


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Spoonbills are medium-sized wading and terrestrial birds that live on forests, wetlands, grassland, arid or semi-arid areas of temperate and tropic regions. They have long neck and legs, a short tail and a long, straight bill. Most species are white, sometimes rose-tinged. Adult males grow between 48–110 cm in height and weighs 0.5–2.5 kg. Most species nest in trees, often with ibises or herons. A striking feature of spoonbills is its prominent, large, flat, and spatulate bills which allows them to feed by touch in murky water..


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Toucans are passerine birds found in tropical and subtropical forests in South America. They are brightly marked and have large, colorful bills. Its oversized, colorful bill has made it one of the world”s most popular birds. The bill has serrated edges which help tear off pieces of larger fruits. The toucan”s large bill enables it to perch inside the crown of a tree, and to reach deep into tree holes to access food unavailable to other birds.

Wattled Curassow

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The Wattled Curassow is a large bird found in remote rainforests in the southwestern Amazon River basin. It is about 82–89 cm long, and weighs around 2,500 g. Their plumage is mostly black; legs, feet and bill are blackish. Its most prominent feature is a well-developed curly crest of head feathers. Males sport round bill knobs and elaborate wattles (think hood ornament) at the base of the bill.

38 thoughts on “Wacky Bird Beaks

  1. Jessica Cassidy

    i've been a fan of hummingbirds eversince i 've seen it on tv somewhere. They are so cute and now I know because of this post the they belong to wacky birds beaks too!

  2. Rcel

    They are too cute on their beaks but am sure that they get used to it. I see hummingbird sometimes in our yard and it is too cute making a noise for that small bird.

  3. Chubskulit Rose

    Wow! Just a simple way of telling us that Our God is an Amazing Creator! My fave is that sword-billed hummingbird! 🙂

  4. kulasa

    I like the color of Toucan's beak. These are the animals that I would love to take care of. But I wouldn't want to take them away from their natural habitat.

  5. Fina Jenny

    The most wackiest face is the ShoeBill Stork. Ahihi But I think most these are endangered species.

  6. Franc Ramon

    I love all the birds pero pinakagusto ko yung humming birds :)medyo weird nga yung mga tuka nila kung titingnan now we know why… thanks for sharing..

  7. MaryJane Tauyan

    Isn't it strange that the long the beak of the sword-billed humming bird is almost as long as its body? Great post about animals I haven't even heard of, very informational.

  8. Rochkirstin Santos

    It's nice to see the different bills of birds here. You just have a better appreciation of birds.

  9. Jonas Labagala

    bearded barbet looks cute to me! it looks like so manly looking with its beak!

  10. Traveling Morion

    Actually yes I have asked that question… how do they eat and other things that are interesting to learn such as how they understand one another. 🙂

  11. Teresa Martinez

    I've heard of a hummingbird but not the sword-billed and it's beak is longer than its body. I like this post! 😀

  12. lovemindanao

    The sword-billed hummingbird looks more like an insect in this photo. Very interesting list here.

  13. Pao Tolentino

    The toucan is very cute 😀 But I actually like spoonbeak, too 😀 These are nice birds – puede kaya gawing pet? 😀

  14. Mai Flores

    those beaks really emerged beutifully via adaptation of these birds to changing environment. they look lovely

  15. markpogi

    I love the sword-billed hummingbird. It's got this appeal of having so much finesse in it, especially when it's kind of hovering..

  16. Karen

    The Rhinoceros Hornbill and shoebill stork would have to bag the weirdest horns for me from this list of wacky bird beaks. Weird yet astonishing at the same time. 🙂

  17. Tingting R.

    I've always been fascinated with the different kinds of beaks birds have. But I guess it's really nature's work, di lang pampa-cute ang beaks nila. Talagang bagay sa eating habits and lifestyle nila 😀

  18. lencilicious

    oh wow!!! didn't even hit me about animal's beaks, yikes for me… but glad you've brought it up and now i'm learning more in here.

  19. Riza Acebuche

    Toucan is the official bird of Guinness Beer which is pretty popular here too. Although, I haven't seen one with my own eyes.

  20. Joy

    I feel quite bad for the hummingbirds. Their only source of food is nectar from the flower. What will happen if they ran out of nectar? Can't really eat anything else with that beak.

  21. juliana

    the common crossbill – parang ang hirap kumain sa beak nya naka X hehe, i like the spoonbill walang tapon sa kain hehe

  22. Chubskulit Rose

    I must say that each bird has different kind of beak according to their necessities, which makes them do something easier as well. the Rhinoceros Hornbill is pretty cool amongst the beaks here too

  23. Jessica Cassidy

    Love the hummingbird. I think it's cute. The wattled currasow on the other hand is scary.

  24. Chubskulit Rose

    yes each one of the birds are very unique but very attractive and beautiful. Their beak is also very mysterious,

  25. Maria Teresa Figuerres

    these are some very interesting beaks…I wonder how they use it when they eat…lol!

  26. Anonymous

    wow…so marami pa lang klase ng beaks…and speaking off my daughter love beaks! promise…she loves touching it in her stuff toy…we have henny stuff that been like 3 years already..when she was baby she cant sleep if she could not touch/doodle with hennys beak

  27. Anonymous

    I didn't know that the toucan's bill, aside from helping this bird eat also helps keep this bird cool. I learned something new today. Thanks for that info!

  28. Dency

    The Rhinoceros Hornbill picture is actually not a Rhinoceros but the Oriental Pied Hornbill.

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