Identification of Bird Skulls
If you are going to identify a bird skull then the best way to do it is through comparison. If you compare the unknown bird skull with a known bird skeleton then it will be easier to identify the unknown by comparing certain characteristics. %%AFC-ADVERT%%
The first thing you should look at on a bird skull is the size, shape and style of the beak. Other parts of bird skulls you should examine are the length of the cranium and the height and length of the skull. This article will teach you some top tips on how to identify bird skulls.
Bird Skulls – Beaks
General Beaks – If you think your bird skull has a general beak then it will not have any special characteristics that make it stand out. Birds with general beaks can be ducks, emus, geese, sparrows and puffins. If you need to make further judgement on the beak then you should assess the size, shape and colour of the beak.
Slim Beaks – If your bird skull has a slender beak then it will have been designed to help with eating in certain circumstances. If your bird skull has a medium to long in length slender beak then it might be an oystercatcher, kiwi, lapwing or plover. You should also asses whether or not the slim beak is curved as this will help with identification.
Special Beaks – Some bird skulls you might find may have conical beaks, this implies that they are seed eaters while bird skulls with short thin beaks probably feed on insects. The curved beaks of parrots make cracking shells easy and scooping pelican beaks are used for catching fish. If your bird skull has a flat beak then it might be a duck or a goose as it is built to filter out water. Strong predatory birds will usually possess strong hooked beaks for tearing meat.
By looking at the size of the bird skull you will rule out many species. By comparing a bird skull which is known to the one you have found you will find the process becomes much easier. For example if you know that the skull is bigger than a sparrow and smaller than a duck you have ruled out many types of bird.
Location of Bird Skull
Consider carefully where you found the bird skeleton. Many species of bird are only found in certain areas or habitats; this can greatly narrow down what species of bird the skull belongs to.