The size and shape of a bird’s beak can often give an idea of what it eats and how it catches what it eats. Birds such as cardinals have strong, conical beaks for cracking nuts and seeds. Birds of prey tear through their food with their hooked beaks, while birds with short, pointed beaks are often insectivores.
Birds with long, dagger-like beaks, on the other hand, use them to detect and impale prey, whether it’s fish, small reptiles, or amphibians.
Other birds that have evolved long beaks use them to access flowers and find nectar. Perching birds with long beaks may use them like extension poles to catch fruit or bugs. Here are ten species of birds, or birds with the longest beaks in the world.
These birds evolved to ford water and spear their prey, so not only do they have the longest beaks in the world, but they also have long legs.stork belongs to Cicadae family, distributed in 6 genera and 19 species. Not only are their bills long but rather robust and sensitive. This enables them to stick their beaks into murky water and find prey by touch.
Some storks include:
- stork stork: One of the ugliest creatures on Earth, the bird with its bald pink head, huge beak and dangling tear sac was once hunted for its unusually soft down. It is also the largest stork, with a wingspan of up to 12 feet and a standing height of 5 feet. It lives in Africa.
- Wood stork: Slightly uglier than the stork, this stork also has a bald head, although the skin is taupe. The bald head is not so that it is easier to plunge its head into a carcass or garbage pile like a stork, but to plunge its head into muddy water for prey such as amphibians, insects, crustaceans and fish. Wood storks are found in the southwestern United States and South America.
- White Stork: The long beak of this more attractive stork is red, but the rest of it is white with black wing feathers. White storks, about 45 inches tall, ford water in streams and swamps, feeding on amphibians and other small aquatic life. It is distributed in Europe, Africa and eastern India and Pakistan.
#9: Eurasian Spoonbill
This long-billed, long-legged bird looks like a stork, but it’s not. The bird, about 35 inches tall, is found in North Africa, southern Europe and eastern Asia and is named for its wide beak with a flattened end.
As it skims the waters of lagoons and swamps and holds it slightly open, this long beak is the perfect trap for small aquatic creatures.
#8: Piebald Crocodile
The spotted crocodile is a much smaller wading bird than the stork, found in Europe, Central Asia and Russia. Its feathers are charming black and white, and its beak is not only long but also thin, and has an upward curve. Its other distinguishing feature is its flippers, which are unusual for a member of the stilt family. It feeds in brackish or brackish water, waving its beak through the water in search of prey. Crocodiles can also swim into bodies of water, flip them over, and hunt like ducks.
Adult birds are white except for the black crest and black patches on the wings and back. They have long upturned bills and long blue legs. These birds forage in shallow salt water or mudflats, and their beaks often move from side to side in the water. They mainly eat crustaceans and insects.
#7: Eurasian Curlew
In contrast to the piebald parrot, the Eurasian curlew’s long beak is slightly curved downward. This somewhat drab bird lives in the grasslands and peat bogs of Africa, Europe, Russia, and South Asia. It made up for its bland exterior with beautiful songs and ritualized battles for territory. In winter, curlews fly to shorelines and estuaries, using their beaks to scan the mud and sand for tiny crustaceans and worms. Unfortunately, the conservation status of the curlew is all but threatened.
Native to Europe, Africa, and Asia, this bird is known for its imposing crest and long, pointed, thin beak. While earth tones of cinnamon brown, dark brown, black, and cream come together, the colors are arranged in aesthetically pleasing patterns, including what can only be called zebra stripes. This is especially true when the bird is in flight and reveals the black and white stripes of its wings and tail. As for the long beak, it is used to detect small lizards and insects on the ground.
#5: Red-billed Sicklebird
What makes this bird with its plain reddish-brown plumage stand out is its beak, which, as its name suggests, is long and red and shaped like a sickle. The bird is a wood-climber found in the forests of South America and survives by climbing tree trunks and using its bill to detect insects and other small arthropods under the bark. The length and curvature of the beak allow for deep probing and long distance probing.
#4: Toco Toucan
The Toco toucan’s beak is not only extraordinarily long, it’s literally big. With a sunset-colored black tip, it’s the body part that makes this otherwise just fun bird famous. This toucan’s beak looks too heavy to carry around, but it’s light, hollow and serrated. It has the largest beak surface area of any bird, although the beak of the sword-billed hummingbird beats it in length. For centuries, biologists have wondered why toucans have this beak. Some believe it is to attract the opposite sex or intimidate rivals. It has been found that the bill does keep the bird cool and is always useful for catching hard to reach fruit or game.
#3: Normal Sniper
This plump little bird is also a wader and is found throughout Europe and Asia. It also overwinters in warm European countries and Africa. The sandpiper, with its tan plumage and short tail, has the longest beak among shorebirds. Not only that, but the tip of the beak is flexible, allowing the sandpiper to poke into the dirt in search of worms and other small animals. Another nice thing about this bird is that its eyes are close to the top of its head, which allows it to look for trouble even when it’s eating. Males are known for performing spectacular hovering and diving courtship displays.
Like storks, pelicans are long-billed waterbirds, but they have an expandable pouch in their beaks. This allows them to scoop up the fish and simply strain unwanted water out of the bag before they swallow their food. Except for the landlocked countries of South America, pelicans are found in warmer regions all over the world. Types of pelicans include:
- Australian Pelicans: The bird is found in Australia, New Guinea and other parts of Oceania. It is 6 feet long and has an 8.5-foot wingspan. The bird’s plumage is mostly white, the main wing feathers are black, and it has a very long pink beak. In fact, the Australian pelican has the longest beak of any living bird. The beak of a large male can be as long as 18 inches.
- Great White Pelican: This large white-feathered bird is found in the Mediterranean, South Africa and Asia, and breeds in Russia. During the breeding season, its plumage takes on a rosy color. Its beak can be nearly 16 inches long. Great white pelicans can form in large flocks and can be seen flying in amazingly precise formations.
- American White Pelican: This big, fat bird can be close to 6 feet long, most of which is taken up by its beak, which can be 15.2 inches long. Males are a bit larger than females, but otherwise it’s hard to tell them apart. It is the only pelican with a horn on its beak, but this horn only appears during the breeding season and then falls off. The American White Pelican is found in Canada, parts of the United States, and Mexico and Central America.
#1: Sword-billed Hummingbird
The sword-billed hummingbird comes first, as it is the only bird known to have a beak longer than its entire body. Like many other hummingbirds, the beak developed to sip nectar from trumpet-shaped flowers. It’s so long that it’s useless for anything else. While other birds can use their beaks to groom themselves, this tiny Andean bird has to use its feet. Interestingly, females have longer beaks than males.
Longest beaked birds summary
Here is the list of birds with the longest beaks:
|5||red-billed sickle bird|
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
Leave a Reply