Bird Buffet

In science class, you have learned how an animal's physical traits, such as a bird's beak, may provide an advantage for survival in one environment but not in another. In this activity, you and your family members will create model bird beaks and simulate the feeding behavior of different birds.




With an adult's help, gather the different foods and household items listed in the chart (look in the two far-right columns). Simulate the feeding behavior of each bird by using the simulated beak tool to “eat” the food listed in the chart.

Bird Species Actual Diet Simulated Food Simulated Beak Tool
hummingbird nectar inside a flower juice in a narrow vase drinking straw
woodpecker insects in wood puffed rice embedded in plastic foam tweezers
finch seeds mixed nuts in the shell nutcracker or pliers
duck aquatic vegetation puffed rice floating in a cup of water slotted spoon


How does each bird's beak create a survival advantage that allows the bird to reproduce and pass its inherited traits on to the next generation? What might happen to each bird if its environment experienced a natural disaster in which all the plants and animals were wiped out?