Last week we did one of my favorite science experiments of the year. We’ve been studying animal adaptations and spent a little time learning about how birds’ beaks are physical adaptions of birds. To enforce this concept we did a little experiment on birds’ beaks.
This activity does require quite a bit of preparation, but I feel that it is definitely worth the work. To begin with, I collected several types of tools to serve as birds’ beaks (tongs, tweezers, slotted spoons, eye droppers, staple removers, etc.) Then, I collected a variety of bird foods (snails/macaroni, grubs/m&ms, nectar/red water, worms/ gummy worms, small seeds, large seeds, flesh/staples in cardboard, fish/paper clips, beetles/raisins, duckweed/Styrofoam). I typically mix the food in with oatmeal or potting soil to make it a little more realistic for students. During the activity students have two attempts to collect as much food as possible with the two beaks of their choice. I like to give students 30 seconds for each attempt, and I have students record their results on their data collection sheet.