6 birds with weird beaks
The members of the avian kingdom surely have many astonishing traits and features, and their beaks, or bills, are one of them. Let's take a look at the most bizarre ones.
#1 Oriental pied hornbill
These beautiful mighty beaks measure 19 cm (7 in) for males and 16 cm (6 in) for females. Many birds from the hornbill family are recognizable by the hollow structure on top of their bill. It's called a casque and is used to attract mates, fight (by males only) and resonate sound.
#2 Sword-billed hummingbird
Thanks to their unusually long bill, these tiny birds can feed on flowers with long corollas, which is impossible for most other species. The bill is usually longer than the rest of the sword-billed hummingbird's body. Their tongue, also incredibly long, can extend beyond the bill while feeding.
Did you know? Most hummingbirds use their bills to groom themselves, but sword-billed hummingbirds have to do it with their feet.
Everything is absolutely unusual and bizarre in the shoebill's appearance – it looks like a prehistoric bird or even a dinosaur. And yes, its bill does look like a big shoe, and it's the most recognizable feature of this unique creature. This bill is very useful: it helps the shoebill to crush, pierce, grip and eat fish.
If you love reading about these birds with weird beaks, try to ace this fun trivia quiz and name all the US state birds.
#4 Australian pelican
Though the Australian pelican's bill doesn't look that weird, it's surprisingly large. The longest recorded bill measured 50 cm (20 in), which made the Australian pelican's bill the largest in the avian kingdom.
#5 Roseate spoonbill
This spoon-shaped bill is a highly functional hunting device: the nostrils are located at its base, which allows the bird to breathe while the bill is submerged in water, ready to snap and catch prey.
#6 Red-necked avocet
Like other avocet species, this bird uses its upcurved bill to skim the surface of water and catch small invertebrates.
Did you know about these birds with weird beaks? Which one did you like the most?
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