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Name: Wendy G.
Status: educator
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 5/18/2004

Do Eagles ever lose their beaks and then regrow them? I've had emails twice in the past year that claim this but have never heard it to be true?

Its a tricky question. A bird's beak is made of two parts, bones that are part of the skull and the hard sheath that makes up the beak itself. Beaks of raptors, including eagles, grow constantly at the tip to replace wear, captive birds that do not wear down their beaks normally must have them clipped from time to time to prevent overgrowth. A damaged beak may regrow, sometimes with malformations, if the damage is only to the outer portion and not the bone. Birds never "lose" their beaks in any regular way, and are not likely to recover from damage to the bone, unless it is minor.

J. Elliott

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