Q:

What does a bird use its beak for?

A:

Quick Answer

Project Beak advises that a bird uses its beak to capture food, gather materials for its nest, drink water, feed its young and preen itself. Birds also use their beaks for protection against potential predators.

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What does a bird use its beak for?
Credit: Mihai Bojin Flickr CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

Beaks come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, each suited to a bird's feeding behaviors and habitat. Beaks are composed of keratin, the same tough protein that is found in a human's fingernails. Depending on the species of bird, a beak grows anywhere from 1/2 inch to 3 inches per year. Beaks are consistently worn down from feeding, building, climbing and chewing, so proper beak growth is essential for a bird's survival.

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