Bird Word: Mandibles

  • Mandibles: the two parts of a bird’s beak, namely, the upper mandible and the lower mandible.

Bird beaks come in a variety of sizes and shapes and they are used in many different ways. Some are long and pointed such as a honeyeater beak that probes flowers for the nectar. Others are flat and and wide, like a spoonbill which enables the bird to sift through the mud looking for food. Parrots have curved, sharp and powerful beaks used for cracking open food like seeds and nuts. Hawks have pointed beaks that enable them to tear open their prey.

Zebra Finch

Zebra Finch


2 Responses to “Bird Word: Mandibles”

  1. John Tongue says:

    Hi Trevor,
    The mandibles of the Crossbill of North America, or the Wrybill of NZ would have to be some of the weirdest!

  2. Trevor says:

    Hi John – I guess there are many species from other parts of the world that look strange to us here in Australia. Some are indeed weird – as are some of the bizarre names given to some species.

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