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#14 What does the beak of a bird tell you?

Can you tell what kind of food a bird likes just by looking at it?

Yes! A good look at the beak can give us a pretty good idea as to what a bird generally likes to eat!

A bird's beak and feet can tell us much about its habitat and lifestyle. In fact, most birds are classified according to structural similarities between their beaks and feet.

Every bird has a differently shaped beak, depending on the kind of food the bird prefers to eat. For example, heron has a long beak (that looks like a dagger), so that it can spear fishes with it! A sparrow has a very small but sharp beak as it eats seeds and insects. Similarly, birds of prey have hooked beaks. They need their hooked beaks to tear the flesh of the animals they catch.

Here’s a list of the type of birds’ beaks and their function:

  • Short and rounded beak: Multipurpose, eating insects and seeds
  • Long and tubular beak: sucking nectar from flowers
  • Long and a scoop like beak: scooping up fish
  • Spear shaped beak: spearing fish
  • Hooked beak: catching and tearing prey
  • Flat & pointed, chisel shaped beak: drilling for insects
  • Square-shaped and flat beak: straining algae

Now that you have learnt about beaks, can you answer this tricky question?

I am a carnivorous bird, i.e. I only eat meat. There are not very many birds like me in Australia, which is why there is less competition for food. My jaw and beak are strong enough to thrash the lizard and even the snake, which I love to eat by swallowing them whole!

Who am I?

Explore Response
#14 Answer
TEAM EXPLORE:  The correct answer is Kookaburra. Kookaburras are carnivorous (meat-eaters) birds. They eat lizards, snakes, insects, mice and smaller birds. The kookaburra is a member of the kingfisher family. They grow up to almost 28–42 cm (11–17 inches) in length. They are found in habitats ranging from humid forests to arid-savannahs, as well as in suburban areas where there are plenty of tall trees or areas near running water. Kookaburras can be found throughout Eastern Australia and are best known...

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Answers (2)
Miss Anchal Sharma, 15 years | Posted June 13, 2014
It is Kookaburra!
Master Amar Arya, 16 years | Posted June 13, 2014

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