The Great Journey in Photography

Beauty in the Beak

Long Billed Curlew

500mm f8 220iso 1/400sec

Any one know how many different beaks/bills there are? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Well, before we start the count lets define what a beak is. Known as the beak, bill or rostrum, it is an anatomical structure of all birds that according to the Wiki is used for eating, grooming, manipulating objects, killing prey, fighting, probing for food, courtship and feeding young. Wow, now that is what I call a utility tool! We all know that birds can have very different size and shape beaks based on its needs, a sandpiper has a long bill for picking up small crustaceans under the water, a hawk has a short sharp beak for tearing flesh, and the pelican has a long bill and pouch for scooping up large quantities of liquid. In all there are sixteen different size and shaped bills. It goes like this:

Insect Catching
Grain Eating
Coniferous Seed Eating
Nectar Feeding – Humming Bird
Fruit Eating  – Toucan
Chiseling – Wood Pecker
Dip Netting – Pelican
Surface Skimming – Skimmer
Scything – Sanderlings?
Probing – Long Billed Curlew
Filter Feeding – Flamingo
Arial Fishing – King fisher
Pursuit Fishing – Duck Water Fowl
Scavenging – Vultures
Raptorial – Hawks and Eagles.

As you can see I have no examples for the first four types. They are pretty close together and it seems like they overlap a bit but to give you a general idea I would guess at Scrub Jay, Black Phoebe, Sparrow, and Dove respectively. Maybe a little too much information for a Friday morning but what the heck, put until it in your hip pocket until trivia night.

Until next week guys, have a good time and thanks for stopping by.


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