Can we tell what a bird eats by looking at its mouth?

  1. hubpoint profile image61
    hubpointposted 6 years ago

    Can we tell what a bird eats by looking at its mouth?

  2. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image59
    Dubuquedogtrainerposted 6 years ago

    Great question! Yes - bird beaks take on different shapes based on what they were designed to do - the old adage form follows function applies here. For example, cardinals have short, conical bills for cracking seeds and birds of prey such as owls and hawks have sharp, curved bills for tearing meat. This would make a great hub for anyone interested in doing the research!

  3. Longtail profile image64
    Longtailposted 6 years ago

    Birds can eat seeds, insects, shell-fish, worms and meat. A close look at each one's beak can help us find out what it feeds on.

    Birds of prey, who tear to pieces the prey or the carrion they are feeding on, have powerful curved beaks. And did you know that if a small chicken is brought up on meat alone its beak will become curved like a bird of prey's?

    The macaw, who mostly eats large, very hard seeds has a beak that is very broad at the base. It also uses the tip of its beak for climbing.

    Woodpeckers have long straight beaks, very sharp at the end. They use it for boring into trees in search of insects or grubs that they catch with their very long sticky tongues.

    Spoonbills and flamingoes have flat or curved beaks which enable them to scrape the bottoms of marshes and find small animals.