[Various bird songs] [An Akiapolaau, one of the Hawaiian honeycreepers, is perched on a branch. A band is visible on its leg. It pecks at the branch with its beak. The difference between the lower beak and upper beak is quite obvious. The lower beak is straight, and the upper beak is curved. Eventually it extracts an insect larva from the branch. It then turns around and hops away.] [Explore Macaulaylibrary.org]

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A bird’s beak can be an extremely useful tool in acquiring food. The Akiapolaau, a species of honeycreeper endemic to Hawaii, can peck insect larvae out of trees like a woodpecker using the straight lower part of its beak and extract sap with its long, curved upper bill.

This video accompanies Chapter 8, Avian Food and Foraging, Handbook of Bird Biology, 3rd Edition from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Wiley Publishing.

Recorded by Timothy Barksdale, Macaulay Library