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Bird Beak Activity

Each student will be given a spoon, binder clip, tweezers, or scissors. Each student will also get a plastic cup.
Today we are going to be pretending to be hungry birds and we will be using different beaks to pick up food to
feed ourselves. As we do the experiment, we are going to determine which beak is the best for each food. For
the activity, you will be using a spoon, a binder clip, tweezers, and scissors as the beak. First, we are going to
look at some real birds to try to figure out which of these materials represents which bird.
Lets begin with some predictions. I want you to make a prediction about which bird beak represents each bird
and what will be the best type food for that bird in the table below:

Bird Beak

Type of Bird

binder clip

Show pictures of example birds on Smartboard.

For each picture, ask the following questions:
What do you notice about this beak?
How would you describe it?
What are some characteristics of this beak?
Which tool do you think represents this beak?
Pelican (spoon):

Warbler (tweezers):


Heron (scissors):

Finch (binder clip):

You are now a very hungry bird. The tool you have selected is your beak. You can only use your beak to pick
up food. The cup is your stomach. It must remain upright at all times. You must hold your beak in one hand,
and your stomach in your other hand, close to your body. Only food that is placed in the cup by the beak has
been eaten. I will place different food items in your habitat. When I say, go you will have 20 seconds to
collect as much food in your stomach as possible (or until the food runs out). I will say, stop when time is up.
When I say, stop you will count the contents and record data in Individual Data Table. In the appropriate box,
you will write how many pieces of food you collected.
After the activity, ask the following questions:
Which beak was best adapted to each type of food?
Which beak was least adapted to each type of food?
Would you change your feeding strategy if you had another opportunity to feed? Explain.
What would happen if all of the bird types in this activity flew to an island where no birds had been before and
the only food available was macaroni? Which birds would be most successful? Which birds would be least

Name ___________________________________

Bird Beak Activity

Make a prediction about which beak you think will be the best for each food type.
Food: paper clips, rubber bands, toothpicks, macaroni
Bird Beak

Type of Bird


binder clip
Use the table below to record how many pieces of food each beak was able to pick up.

Paper clips

Rubber bands

Binder Clip
Which beak was best adapted to each type of food?
Paper clips: __________________________________
Rubber bands: ________________________________
Toothpicks: ___________________________________



Macaroni: ____________________________________
Choose one beak and explain why it was best adapted for the food it picked up.

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