As the constantly shifting winds and whims of the rosy evening sun, you might notice some beautiful parrots or macaws flying across the sky, their multicolored beaks shining under the sun. That’s when you wonder, what other kinds of beauteous birds exist? What other marvels of nature have taken birth? While we are here to discuss beaks, an important anatomical figure of a bird, we are also here to marvel at nature in its fullest artistic expression. What are beaks then? beaks are made of hardened keratin, protruding outside, eventually working as the human equivalent of a jaw. They can be used for many purposes, from eating (obviously), fighting, digging, tailoring and even mating! And all the while treating us to amazing visuals and beautiful sounds emitted through various mechanisms.
Interestingly though beaks are not limited to birds as you might have assumed, even some central pods have beaks, which are made of chitin. To explore that field further, unfortunately, you will have to read till the end of the article! While we will be focusing on various aesthetics aspects, we have to understand the unique role that each bird’s beaks plays as well, in order to better understand their existence. Here is the list of birds with most amazing beaks in the world,
Birds With Most Amazing Beaks
1) Atlantic puffins
Known as Clowns of the Sea because of their multicolored beak, they are found in the United States and Canada. Their beak has the ability to change its color throughout the year and hence listed as one of the beautiful birds in the world. While in the winters, their beaks might be a bit dull, in their mating seasons it turns into a bright orange in order to attract its mates.
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They are the national bird of the Bahamas and their tongue was considered a delicacy by the ancient Romans! Yet the most striking feature of their entire Lady in Pink Avatar is their Beak. Their beak, which when stuck in mud has the unique ability to filter out all the food before water is gone from their beak. Hence, the water is quickly sifted by their beaks, much like the whales and the oysters. Add to that their eye-catching plumage and we have a perfect example of the most beautiful beak. It is also listed as one of the migratory birds in the world.
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3) American White Pelican
Among the largest birds in the continent of North America, its beak is at least 11-12 inches Long! During its mating seasons, this bird’s beak, actually produces a laterally flattened horn on its upper mandible, probably to attract the females. Surprisingly, it disappears as soon as the mating season is over.
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Known also like the Rainbow Billed Toucan, it is the national bird of Belize. Their rather colorful bills can measure up to 15 cms. Though the beaks look heavy and tiresome, they are actually very light and spongy as they are made of keratin. The most beautiful aspect is the striking color combination of its beak. They are found in Columbia and Venezuela.
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5) Toco toucan
This bird is found in the jungles of South America. It’s a most interesting part is its beak which can measure up to 15.8-23 cms. The bill is often found to behave like a thermal regulator. As the beak is able to control the flow of blood, it can accordingly increase or decrease this flow, depending upon the temperature of the bird. Hence while sleeving, they put their beak under their wings to safeguard heat.
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6) Great hornbill
Also called as banrao in Nepal, which means King of the Forest. This beautiful bird is found in Asian countries of Nepal and India. It’s bright black and yellow casque is used for sparring other males while courting for a mate. They are also worshipped and revered by many Indian tribal sects and are the state animal of Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh and the Chin state of Myanmar. It is one of the birds with the most amazing beaks in the world.
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Found in the Greenlands of Peru and Bolivia. These tiny birds are the only species whose beaks are longer then it’s a body. While they themselves measure from 10-14 cms, their beaks itself can measure up to 10cms! The interesting part about their beaks is that it allows the hummingbird to reach deep inside the fire of the plant to suck it’s nectar, without causing any harm to the plant. This bird is known for its coevolution with the plant Passiflora Mixta or passionflower. This plant has its food source right inside its core, which makes it’s inaccessible to all other bird species except for this one. In return, the sword billed hummingbird is the only agent of pollination for this plant.
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The Arabs called it Abu-Markhub, or “father of a slipper”. This bird is found in Africa, more specifically Zambia. It’s humongous beak, makes it different from the rest of the stork kind. It’s culmen, is at least 18.8 to 20 cms long, makes it the bird with the third-longest beak. Yet, it uses its beak in a very interesting way. With the sheer power of its mandibles, this bird is known to decapitate its victims before proceeding to eat it. Sometimes, it would stand still for hours, catch prey and crush off its head even if the prey is already dead. Uh, it appears that this guy will put even the craziest dictator to shame.
The roseate spoonbill is a thing of beauty with its wonderful plumage and it’s rather a large beak. The upper mandible also called the culmen, is at least 14.5-18 cms long. Found waddling in the waters of South America, this bird has a wide beak which is almost spoonlike in its appearance. Another interesting fact, these spoonbills are also victims of balding patches just like us humans, but instead of losing hair at the top of their heard, they lose feathers as they grow older. Their beaks help them in something called head swinging. It means that the birds put their beak in the water, moving it from side to side until a range of tiny organisms enter their mouths.
Found all across Eurasia, red crossbills have the unique distinction of possessing crossed mandibles. Basically their jaws cross each other into the form of an overlapping pair of scissors. This unique feature, helps them to break scales of conifer cones and extract seeds from it. Which is their main source of nutrition? It’s genus name Loxia comes from the Latin word, Lexus, which means crosswise. A reference to its a beak.
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It is the national bird of Malaysia and is often found in the jungles of Java and Sumatra. On its beak, it has an almost Elvis Presley like horn, called a casque. This casque is similar to a rhinoceros horn, and hence the name. An interesting fact is that the casque (which is made of keratin), is actually used by the bird amplify its a voice. Basically, like the small hollow box, you find in a guitar. Hence, this horn doesn’t exist just for ornamental purpose, but rather an ingenious technique created by Nature, to produce the next Elvis Presley.
These are the birds with the most amazing beaks in the world. Kindly share and do post your comments.