The food available to animals varies depending on where they live. In habitats where food is limited, animals with features or adaptations that allow them to gain access to food more easily are likely to survive more successfully than those without the advantage. Animals with adaptations that allow them to live longer are more likely to produce offspring and pass their genes onto them and therefore the advantageous adaptation.
Discover why bird beaks are different shapes with this fun investigation.
Bird Beak Adaptation Activity
Other items that could be used – mini marshmallows, marbles
Beak Adaptation Investigations
Use the pegs and different sized tweezers to pick up the pasta, fish and bugs.
Discuss whether some things are easier to pick up than others. For example, can tiny objects be picked up more easily with tweezers or pegs.
Did you know that bird’s beaks are shaped according to their diet?
Finches have a strong, cone shaped beak which they use to crack seeds, a bit like our tweezers.
Insect eaters have thin, pointed beaks ( maybe a bit like chopsticks )used to pick insects off leaves.
Hummingbirds have long beaks like straws, they don’t catch insects, but instead suck nectar from flowers.
Did you know birds that eat fish, have teeth -like structures on the edge of their beak to hold the fish?
Bird Science Extension Ideas
Collect sticks, feathers and leaves to build a nest, think about what features the nest should have.
Build a bird’s nest using just tweezers. Remember birds only have their beaks to build.
Facts about birds
Long-tailed tits use up to 2,000 feathers in each nest and fly between 600-700 miles to collect the materials needed!
Sparrows take advantages of holes in roofs to build their nest, they stuff the hole with grass saving a lot of time and effort.
Chaffinches nest in forks in trees and use sticky cobwebs to form anchors for the nest’s foundation.
Some birds, for example owls take advantage of natural holes in trees to keep their young safe. This saves a lot of time and effort building a nest.
See the RSPB website for more information about bird nests and how you can help birds make their homes.
Bird Beak Challenge
Research about Darwin’s Finches.