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Birds With Long Beaks: Info With Pictures

You can learn a lot about a bird from its beak, like how big it is, what it eats, and even where it lives and its natural niche. There are many good things about having a long beak, and they come in many sizes and types, each with its own skills. Here is a list of 15 different kinds of birds with long beaks, ranging from common to unusual. They all have one thing in common: their beaks are long and specialized.


White birds with long beaks

close up photo of an american white pelican
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Scientific title: Pelecanus erythrorhynchos
Length: 4.2-5.4 feet
Beak Length: 11-15 inches

With a wingspan of about 9 feet, the American White Pelican is one of the largest birds in North America. They soar with remarkable grace on large white and black wings. They scoop up fish with their big pouched bills. They have been observed cooperating with one another to herd fish towards shallows for easy eating and can be found on interior lakes in the summer and near coasts in the winter.
Contrary to popular belief, the American White Pelican never carries food in its bill pouch. It’s just utilized to scoop up food, however their catch is swallowed prior to takeoff. They are also skilled food thieves, stealing from other pelicans roughly one-third of the time.


about to fly white pelican
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Scientific Title: Pelecanus crispus
Length: 5-6 feet
Beak Length: 14-18 inches

The Dalmatian Pelican is the largest of the pelican species and one of the largest living birds. With a wingspan of about 11 feet, it is also one of the heaviest flying birds. During the season, it has dazzling silvery-white plumage that fades to a less lustrous white or gray the rest of the year.
They are exceptionally gregarious birds that love to reside and move in groups. They may not be particularly graceful on ground, but they are powerful swimmers and fliers. They spend the most of their time utilizing their beak, which is used to scoop up food, groom themselves, and spread waterproofing oil throughout their feathers, as is the case with all pelicans.


white storks in straw nest under blue sky
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Scientific Title: Ciconia ciconia
Length: 3.3-3.8 feet
Length of the Beak: 5-8 inches

White storks can be found throughout Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor, and the Middle East in open wetlands, savannas, steppes, meadows, pastures, and arable fields. They prefer shallow standing water and are well adaptable to human presence in their environment.
Insects, scorpions, spiders, frogs, tadpoles, fish, lizards, snakes, crabs, small mammals, and ground-nesting bird eggs are among their favorite foods. White Storks forage visually while walking with their bills pointed at the ground. When they spot prey, they thrust their bill forward to catch and consume it.


perched toco toucan bird
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Scientific Title: Ramphastos toco
Length: 25 inches
Length of the Beak: 7.5 inches

The Toco Toucan is the largest and most well-known species of toucan. It lives in South America’s tropical jungles, and indigenous peoples view it as a gateway between the worlds of the living and the worlds of the spirits. It’s no surprise that its huge and multicolored beak has caught the imagination of humans throughout history.
Their beak is a terrible weapon because it is more for show than anything else. It is constructed of a brittle honeycomb of keratin and serves as a deterrent to predators. Its bill is also utilized to manage its body heat by adjusting the flow of blood to it to disperse heat away from its body.


an australian pelican on the grass
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Scientific Title: Pelecanus conspicillatus
Length: 5.2-6.2 feet
Length of the Beak: 15-17 inches

The Australian Pelican possesses the world’s longest bill of any living bird. It has a distinct coloration, with a pink bill, white plumage, and black-tipped wings. It mostly feeds on fish, but will occasionally eat smaller birds and scavenge for scraps to supplement its diet.
They cover huge areas of mainland Australia and Tasmania, mainly over open water with little aquatic vegetation. They’ve also been known to frequent flooded places after heavy rain, as well as any other body of water with an adequate amount of food for them to scoop up with their bill.


Small birds with long beaks
close up of hummingbird
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Scientific Title: Ensifera ensifera
Length: 5.5 inches
Length of the Beak: 4 inches

The Sword-Billed Hummingbird is one of the largest hummingbird species, with the greatest body-to-beak size ratio of any bird. Their extraordinarily long bill and tongue enable them to eat on flowers with lengthy corollas.
They are solitary in all parts of life except breeding, and the male has no involvement in his children’s existence after mating with the female. The female decides where to build the nest, what material to use, and who will raise the young.


Florida birds with long beaks
close up shot of a toucan
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Scientific Title: Pteroglossus torquatus
Length: 16 inches
Length of the Beak: 4 inches

The Collared Aracari is related to the Toca Toucan and resembles a more subdued toucan. They are the most regularly observed toucanet species in Central America, spanning from southern Mexico to northern Colombia.
Their bill, like a toucan’s, is comprised of honeycombed keratin, but it’s also rather weak and mostly useless for self-defense. It is mostly used to reach fruits on branches that are too weak and frail to carry their entire weight.


close up of hornbill
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Scientific TitleTockus leucomelas
Length: 19-24 inches
Length of the Beak: 3.5-5 inches

The film The Lion King made the Southern Yellow-Billed Horntail famous; Zazu, the primary bird character, is a Yellow-Billed Horntail. They eat a diverse omnivorous diet that includes insects, bird chicks, frogs, chameleons, ants, and termites.
Their bright yellow beak has earned them the loving moniker “flying banana.” The female’s bill is shorter than the male’s, and she, like all hornbills, has a casque that she uses to magnify her voice across the African savannah. They forage alongside mongoose, waiting for them to force prey from underground and leave some for the small animals.


Birds with long beaks and legs
close up of red crossbill
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Scientific Title: Loxia curvirostra
Length: 5.5-7.9 inches
Length of the Beak: 2-3 inches

The Red Crossbill has a smaller beak than the other birds on this list, but it is included because of its distinctive shape and function. They have a significant advantage over other finch species because they use their long and hooked top beak to break through unopened seed cones.
It is found throughout the United States and the majority of Canada. Because coniferous trees release seeds in an unpredictable manner, they frequently stray far outside their regular range, and several sub-species with distinct sounds exist across the continent.


a curlew in the water
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Scientific Title: Numenius americanus
Length: 20-26 inches
Length of the Beak: 4.4-8.6 inches

The Long-Billed Curlew is the longest shorebird in North America. It digs down into the dirt and sand with its large, curved bill in search of aquatic creatures to feed. It can also be used to locate grasshoppers in their breeding grounds on the grasslands of the American Great Plains, protecting many crops from these pests.
The most of the winter they spend in wetlands, tidal estuaries, mudflats, flooded fields, and beaches. It has a distinct silhouette – look for a long neck and large bill strutting through the grasslands. They are frequently joined by smaller groups of other foraging shorebirds, such as Willets and Marbled Godwits.

Blue and orange birds with long beaks


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