Birds with Long Bills

Pelicans – Family Pelecanidae

american white peilcan
American White Pelicans will sometimes participate on group foraging activities. In shallow waters, they swim together to heard fish into a more concentrated area, where they are easier to scoop up with their large, pouched bills. The American White Pelican is migratory, breeding inland as far north as northern Canada.


brown pelican
The Brown Pelican uses a foraging technique far different from the American White Pelican, even though the shape of their bills is similar. Brown Pelicans fold their wings and dive into the water to capture fish. The Brown Pelican is a coastal species.


Ibises and Spoonbills – Family Threskiornithidae

roseate spoonbill
The beautiful Roseate Spoonbill is fairly common along the Texas, Louisiana and Florida coastlines. More widespread in Florida. The spoonbill feeds by swinging their sensitive bill back and forth in shallow water.


glossy ibis
The long, curved bill of the Glossy Ibis is used for probing soft earth and mud. Found along the Gulf and east coast. Compare with White-faced Ibis, a more western species.


Sandpipers – Family Scolopacidae 

 long-billed curlew
The bill of the Long-billed Curlew is similar im shape to the Glossy Ibis, and is also used for probing into mud and soft earth.  Compare to Whimbrel.

Many birds with long bills also have long legs to match. Visit the Long legs page for additional possibilities.