When you see a bird and try to describe its bony area around the mouth, do you refer to it as a beak or bill? You can find both in the literature, and both words mean the same thing, but the correct term is "bill."
Ornithologists prefer this term, although no one knows exactly why. The scientific literature uses "bill," while many non-scientific articles use both terms, but bill is correct.
No matter what we say, the bird's bill is truly fascinating. It serves as a knife, fork, plate, processor and other things. Think about hummingbirds who use their long, narrow beak to sip nectar.
Hawks use their bills to rip apart their food. Pelicans scoop up vast amounts of water and whatever is in it. In fact, their bills hold more than their stomach. Grosbeaks have thick bills to crack the seeds they love. All in all, pretty amazing to look at the variety of bird bills. I've never given a thought to bill versus beak and am sure I've used both interchangeably and probably will again.
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