The old adage "you are what you eat" takes on a new meaning when it comes to birds. As a group, they've adapted a wide variety of bills to fit their varied dietary habits. These are essential to their survival. Flamingos' beaks are deep to help filter water. Hummingbirds' are long and thin to prod flowers for nectar. For Bird Migration Month, we've highlighted some of the most impressive beaks in our parks.
1. African Spoonbill — Bronx Zoo
An excellent fisherman thanks to its long, flattened bill that widens at the end. The shape of the bill looks a bit like a large spoon (hence the name).
2. Keel-billed Toucan — Central Park Zoo
Toucans boast one of the most identifiable beaks around. In practice, it's good for many things, including reaching far-away fruit.
3. Scarlet Macaw — Queens Zoo
These colorful birds hail from Central and South America. Their strong, curved beaks are used to crack nuts and pull seeds from shells.
4. Bee Eater — Bronx Zoo
As the name suggests, these birds eat bees with their tweezer-like bills. They won't pass up other insects, either, like fruit flies and grasshoppers.
5. Wreathed Hornbill — Prospect Park Zoo
The beaks on these birds are hard to ignore and part of the reason is the casque — the knob located on top of their bill.
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