The world of birds is an amazing place.
It’s home to more than 10,000 species that are identifiable by their colorful feathers, size or behavior. While many people think that all birds have short beaks, there are some that can grow up to three feet long.
Read on for some information about 7 beautiful birds with long beaks.
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7 Birds With Long Beaks
Long Billed Curlew
The long-billed curlew is a large shorebird that breeds in North America. They migrate to the southern tip of South America for winter. They have, you guessed it, – a long curved bill. The upper parts of their body are light brown or greyish with black streaks, and the underparts are white.
You can find them in coastal mudflats and saltmarshes during breeding season, foraging for food along the shoreline; they may nest on islands or isolated shores where there are no predators to threaten their eggs and young. They migrate to South America every year, where they winter in freshwater wetlands with tall grasses, feeding on insects and other invertebrates.
These long-billed birds use their long curved bill to dig deep in the water for shrimp and other crustaceans. Their diet also consists of insects and other invertebrates, but also some plant material. They feed by making shallow dives or dabbling for their prey at the water’s surface.
Great hornbills are large birds in the hornbill family. They have a prominent, down-curved bill which is frequently brightly colored and looks like ivory when polished. The shape of the bill seems to be associated with their feeding habits.
The bill is a highly sensitive organ of the hornbill’s senses – touching the bill causes the bird to close its eyes, which inhibits other senses such as sight, sound and smell .
Their distribution range includes South Asia, Southeast Asia and Indonesia. Great hornbills live in tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests, and subtropical and tropical mangrove forests. They prefer large tracts of forest that offer ample opportunity to move around and forage.
This bird with a big beak is mainly frugivorous (fruit-eating). However, its diet consists of an opportunistic mix of insects, small reptiles, crabs, frogs, and mammals. It is even capable of tearing apart large prey items such as rats, squirrels, and monkeys.
The Black Skimmer is a type of seabird that lives in the warmer parts of the Western Hemisphere, but they migrate to spend the winter further south. It’s known for its long beak which it uses to catch fish and other small animals found at sea. It has a mostly black body with some white patches on the belly and wings.
This bird with a long, skinny beak was given its name because of the way it looks while catching fish from water by skimming its long beak. Their beaks can grow to be 5 inches in length.
The diet of Black Skimmers consists of small fish and crustaceans. They have even been known to eat dead squid from fishermen’s nets. Black Skimmers build nests from mud on top of natural or artificial islands in lagoons, bays, and estuaries along the coast.
The White Stork, also called the European White Stork or Western White Stork, is a large bird in the stork family. The White Stork breeds in warm temperate areas of Europe (including Britain but not Ireland or Iceland) and Asia. In the south of its range it is resident, but northern birds migrate to Africa in winter.
This stork breeds mainly on buildings or in trees close to large expanses of water. It builds a stick nest. It is largely black except for the white flight feathers, with distinctive red legs and a large, grey-black bill with a red tip.
They use their long beak to hunt frogs and to fish. The White Stork eats a wide variety of animal species. It normally takes live fish, especially eels, but will also consume amphibians and invertebrates. It feeds its young mainly on insects and other small animals.
These small birds with long beaks are flightless and live in New Zealand. The kiwi can grow up to 30 centimeters long and weigh as much as 2.5 kilograms . It has small wings for its body size, measuring only 10 centimeters in length.
The kiwi’s beak is its most important feature.
Kiwi have very long beaks in comparison to their bodies. The kiwi uses its powerful sense of smell in order to find food. The kiwi has nostrils at the end of its beak that it uses to breathe with. The nostrils are very close together which allows the kiwi to have two smells at once, if needed.
The beak is also used for defense against predators and mating rituals.
Along with its beak, the kiwi’s egg is another special feature. The egg is very large compared to the size of the kiwi itself. The egg also consists of many layers similar to an onion. This helps protect and keep the baby safe inside of the egg until it hatches.
The kiwi bird is the national symbol for New Zealand. It can be seen on many logos and signs throughout New Zealand’s cities, towns, and schools. The kiwi also represents good luck in New Zealand which is why it is featured on playing cards.
The Sword-billed Hummingbird is one of the largest species of hummingbirds native to South America, with a bill longer than its body.
The hummer is found in tropical and subtropical regions from Panama to Bolivia where it inhabits forest edges and semi-open areas such as clearings, second growth and overgrown plantations. It feeds on nectar, insects, and spiders.
The long thin bill is the longest of any hummingbird relative to body size. The bill’s function is speculated as a tool for reaching otherwise unreachable flower parts or food on the wing.
It has been suggested that the bill allows the bird to hover with precision to reach small flower parts; another theory states that a downward-curving bill enables the bird to probe into upward-facing flowers.
The possibility of long beaks acting as an extension of the tongue has also been suggested, but there is no evidence that sword-billed hummingbirds can extend their tongues beyond the end of their bills like other species such as sunbirds.
Toco Toucan is mostly found in South America, especially Brazil. This is not a common bird, so you won’t find them often. You’ll usually only see it flying over rainforest trees, since that’s where they like to nest and eat from those trees.
A toco toucan’s bill is huge and colorful. The colors on the bill are usually yellow, red, and blue. This is to attract mates. The bill also helps with intimidation because it’s big.
The toco toucan is mostly black. It has a small patch of white on its wings, and some other small patches of white around its body. Toucans also have a small head, which helps with flying and seeing where they’re going. Their feet are not made for walking or running.
The toco toucan doesn’t make nests. It uses the holes in trees for its home and only calls that place home until it has a family. To get food, it mostly eats fruit, but sometimes it will eat insects and even baby birds who haven’t made their own homes yet.
Birds with long beaks are a fascinating topic!
These are just a few of the birds with long beaks, but there are many more out in this world.
Do you know any other bird species that have a long beak? Let us know below in the comments and we may add it to our list!