Project Beak advises that a bird uses its beak to capture food, gather materials for its nest, drink water, feed its young and preen itself. Birds also use their beaks for protection against potential predators.
Beaks come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors, each suited to a bird's feeding behaviors and habitat. Beaks are composed of keratin, the same tough protein that is found in a human's fingernails. Depending on the species of bird, a beak grows anywhere from 1/2 inch to 3 inches per year. Beaks are consistently worn down from feeding, building, climbing and chewing, so proper beak growth is essential for a bird's survival.