Birds With Long Beaks: Must Know Facts On Long Billed Birds For Kids | Kidadl


Birds With Long Beaks: Must Know Facts On Long Billed Birds For Kids

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If it is a bird, it is sure to have a beak.

Beaks come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes, and each bird species has a unique one. These beaks have different functions as well, depending on the birds diet, habitat and personality.

In this article, we have covered a number of birds that have long beaks. These amazing birds come in all shapes and sizes, and their long beaks make them very recognizable. To learn more about these fascinating flying friends, read on!

If you enjoy this article, do check out our pages on long-billed curlew facts and birds that sing at night.

Why do some birds have long beaks?

A lot of long beaked birds use them for hunting. The sharp edges and pointed tips are very useful when it comes to scooping up fish, spearing insects or cutting prey in half, making it much easier to swallow.

A few birds like the Kiwi and the American Avocet use their thin beaks to pry out insects and shellfish from the mud and sand, and pierce them in order to eat. The Woodpecker uses its bill to drill through wood in order to makes its home. Aquatic birds like Pelicans have stout, sharp beaks, which have an extendable pouch on the bottom to collect fish and drain out water. Toucans use their brilliantly shaded beaks to intimidate predators as well as peel fruit.

Every species has a unique beak, which it uses for an array of purposes.

Which small birds have a long beak?

It's not only medium and large birds which possess amazing long beaks. Two birds which stand out are the Sword Billed Hummingbird and the Woodpeckers, both which are quite small in size, but have beaks enough to compete with any other bird species!

Sword Billed Hummingbird: one of the smallest birds on our list, this hummingbird species has a bill that is almost as long as their bodies! Their beaks are quite slender and slightly curved like swords. They have an equally long, thin tongue inside, which helps them to easily suck the nectar out of flowers, which is the primary source of food of the Sword Billed Hummingbird.

Woodpeckers: found all over the world except in New Zealand, Australia, Madagascar and the extreme polar regions, this widespread species of bird is omnivorous in nature, feeding on fruits, nuts, seeds, berries, insects and acorns. It uses its sharp-pointed beak to drill holes into tree trunks and logs, in search of prey and to build round nests. Their nostrils are protected with feathers, which prevents wood chippings or dust from entering their beaks and causing pain. These amazing birds can peck at an incredible speed of 20 times per second! They also perch upside down on branches in order to feed. Some woodpeckers such as the red-headed and red-bellied variety are also known to feast on the eggs of other birds, puncturing them with their beaks before using their tongues to lap up the insides.

Hummingbird with long beak.

Which birds have a long and slender beak?

Different types of long-billed birds have different types of beaks. These birds have slender, pointed beaks which though are delicate in appearance, are quite tough when it comes to hunting and spearing their prey with!

Kiwi: not to be confused with the fuzzy fruit, these furry, terrestrial birds of New Zealand have unbelievably long and pointed beaks. These birds have gray-brown feathers, which help them to camouflage among the undergrowth quite easily. Their beaks are very useful, with them having whiskers at the base for nocturnal navigation, and holes at the tip to help locate food. Their nostrils are located at the tip of the beak rather than the base like other birds, contributing greatly to their sense of smell. Their actual beaks are akin to levers, and help to pry insects such as earthworms out of the soil.

Long-billed curlew (Numenius americanus): being America's longest shorebird, this speckled brown bird has a long, slender downward curving beak, which helps it to pry out crabs, shellfish and lobsters from the wet sand. They also feed on insects, lizards and frogs. The female bird has a longer beak. They have a beak length of between 4-8 in (10.2-20.3 cm).

American avocet: the American avocet is a waterfowl with a very unique beak, being stick thin with an upward curve. Found in freshwater sources such as ponds and streams in North America, these beautiful rufous and white birds use their sharp beaks to catch fish and crustaceans, of which they are especially fond. Though its beak looks delicate, it will use it aggressively to fight any predators like ravens and Northern harriers!

Which birds have long and pointed beaks?

Here is our list of popular birds which have long and pointed beaks. These birds are mostly carnivorous in nature, or are using their beaks to intimidate other birds.

Rhinoceros hornbill: these tropical birds are named after their beaks, which resemble the horns of rhinos. These birds have long, curved beak which comprise of a keratin casque on top, which curves upwards. The presence of this casque helps amplify the call of the hornbills, making it resonate over a wide area as to communicate with other hornbills.

Lesser flamingo: being the smallest species of flamingo, this bird is found in Sub-Saharan Africa. They are nocturnal and hunt mostly at night. Despite having such large beaks, they have a very weak sense of smell and taste, relying on their eyesight in order to catch prey. Their beaks are large, maroon in color and have a sharp downwards curve to them. The tips are black, with a bright pink gradient towards the end.

Goliath heron: these aquatic birds are called 'Goliath' as they are huge, being the largest among all heron species. They are carnivorous in nature, and use their long 9.4 in (24 cm) beaks in order to spear and catch fish, amphibians and reptiles.

Atlantic puffin: the Atlantic puffin is known as the clow of the sea, and looking at its red and black striped beak will definitely remind you of a round clown's nose. These round, penguin-like birds have a stout beak with the upper mandible having serrated edges, which helps them to carry up to 10 fish by pressing their beak against their tongue.

Black skimmer: this gorgeous shorebird has a black back and wings with a white face and underbelly. Its long, pointed beak is orange at the base with black tips. The lower beak of the black skimmer is longer than the upper on, and its unique open-and-close movements have also termed it as 'scissor bill'. These birds can be found wading around North and South America.

Roseate spoonbill: the roseate spoonbill, also known as the flame bird because of its gorgeous pink plumage, is a wading bird native to the United States of America, in North America. This bird has long legs to help it wade in the water, and a white neck and underbelly. This yellow-faced bird has a long, flat bill ended in a rounded spoon-like tip, which is what it is named after. It uses its black spoon-shaped bill to scoop up fish and insects from the water and gulp them down. The bill also has slits on the side, which helps to strain out the water and other impurities.

Australian pelican: the Australian pelican has the longest bill of all birds, measuring around 17 in (43.2 cm)! These aquatic birds use their beaks to snatch up a large quantity of fish from the water, with a throat pouch in the lower mandible to store the fish and drain all the water from their catch. Their beaks are also known to be very sensitive and are very useful in helping them find prey. Their beaks have a unique pink tinge to them, and they are white in color with black-tipped wings.

American white pelican: similar to the Australian variety, this bird is known as the largest aquatic bird in the world, and is native to Central and South America! The American white pelican has a slightly shorter beak, measuring 15 in (38.1 cm), which grows darker in the breeding season for males, as a result of their body temperature rising. They have a net-like lower mandible as well, which help to filter out the water and impurities from their prey, after which they can swallow the rest. The Eurasian cousins of these pelicans are Dalmatian pelicans.

White stork: this European wading bird is easily recognizable by its white body, black wing feathers and bright orange long legs and beak. Their long beak and legs help them to wade over waterlogged areas and pick out insects, crustaceans, spiders, lizards and fish. They can mostly be found in shallow, stagnant water, in ponds or lakes. They use their beak to poke through their prey and lift it before eating it. It can also be found in parts of Africa and the Middle East.

Toco toucan: this highly recognizable bird has a large, yellow-orange beak which constitutes for 30-50% of its body length! Its beak is tipped black at the end and is curved downwards, being highly lightweight. The toco toucan uses its beak to peel the skin off of fruits and intimidate other birds. Another cool feature of these birds is that they can regulate their body temperature by adjusting the blood flow to their beaks.

Shoebill: this tropical African swamp bird is known for its enormous, shoe-shaped beak. It is a shy, slow bird that only socializes for breeding purposes. Its large beak, though round in appearance, has sharp edges which help it to snap its prey in half, making it easy to swallow. The beak also has a pointed end, which helps to puncture through or squash any prey which it is pursuing. They feed on big fish, monitor lizards, snakes, and baby crocodiles, all of which can be found in swamps and wetlands. They have a beak length of around 7.4-9.4 in (18.8-23.9 cm).

Keel-billed toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus): also known as the rainbow billed toucan, these easily recognizable tropical birds have uniquely colored, bright bills which are curved downwards. Their beaks are a shade of vivid green, with the upper one having a bright orange patch and the lower sporting a brilliant blue stripe. The tips are deep maroon. Despite the keel-billed toucan having such a large beak, its bill is actually very lightweight. It is also very versatile, with the bright colors being used to scare off predators, the beak itself being used to peel fruits and to disperse body heat to prevent the toucans from overheating.

Bald eagle: probably being the most recognizable bird on this list, the mascot of the United States was not chosen for its docile nature. This aggressive, sharp-sighted bird of prey uses its pointed beak to snatch up prey from the ground, mostly small animals, rodents and fish. They have large, earthy brown bodies with white heads and yellow beak and feet.

Southern yellow-billed hornbill: Native to South Africa, the curved, bright yellow beaks of these birds have earned them the fond nickname of 'flying banana'. Like other hornbills, they possess a casque on top of their beaks, which helps their voice to travel over a large area. Unfortunately, this casque also blocks their eyesight till quite an extent! They have a beak length of around 3.5-5 in (8.9-12.7 cm).

Collared acari: a distant relative of the famous toco toucan, this bird is endemic to Central America, with its range widening from Southern Mexico to Northern Columbia. Their beak length is 4 in (10.2 cm), and despite being quite broad they are lightweight, as they are made out of keratin. The lower beak is jet black, with the upper half being a blend of brown, red, white and black. These birds themselves are quite colorful, with colors of many feathers adorning their bodies.

Why does the duck have tiny holes in its beak?

The tiny holes in the ducks beaks are called as nares. They are nostrils, and help the duck to breathe without opening its beak.

These holes also help ducks when they put their beaks inside the water to catch food, helping them to sense prey inside the water with their scent as well as helping to filter out any water before swallowing it.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Birds With Long Beaks: Must Know Facts On Long Billed Birds For Kids then why not take a look at Are Jumping Spiders Poisonous? Webby Cool Spiders Facts Revealed! or Purrrfect Facts About The Ragamuffin Cat Kids Will Love?

Written By
Tanya Parkhi

<p>Tanya is a skilled content creator with a passion for writing and a love for exploring new cultures. With a degree in Economics from Fergusson College, Pune, India, Tanya worked on her writing skills by contributing to various editorials and publications. She has experience writing blogs, articles, and essays, covering a range of topics. Tanya's writing reflects her interest in travel and exploring local traditions. Her articles showcase her ability to engage readers and keep them interested.</p>

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