On a recent visit to Martin Mere Wetlands Centre I noticed how many colourful and spectacularly shaped beaks and bills there were on the birds there.
There is no difference in the meaning of beak or bill, although a sharp hooked end – like those of an eagle for example – might be referred to more often as a beak.
Having taken several photos of beaks and bills, here are a few, which I think/hope I’ve correctly ID’d. Comments are my personal responses and are not very ornithological! You’ll probably be able to work out which is which in the slideshow.
1) Spoonbill – weird and wonderful – a build in spoon to dig around and find food with
2) Cape Barren Goose – pleasing colour combination of grey and yellow
3) Common Merganser – small pointy beak and stunning punky head
4) Black Swan – dramatic; I remember seeing my first one in Tasmania
5) Flamingo – wow! a large beak like a shovel
6) Red Crested pochard – intense combination of rich colours