Story: Wading birds

Wrybill’s curved bill (2nd of 2)

Wrybill’s curved bill

The tip of the bill of a wrybill turns to the right at an angle of between 15 and 22 degrees. It is the only bird in the world whose bill has a sideways curve, adapted for prising insects, larvae and spiders from under stones. As well as this, the two halves do not quite meet in the inner edge of the curve, creating an open scoop, useful for feeding in mud.

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Department of Conservation
Reference: 10033407
Photograph by Dick Veitch

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How to cite this page:

Gerard Hutching, 'Wading birds - Wrybills and shore plovers', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 31 March 2023)

Story by Gerard Hutching, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015