If you were a bird, what shape beak would you have?

That depends on where you lived and what you ate. Bird beaks come in many shapes and sizes—for example, hummingbirds' thin beaks can dip deep into flowers for nectar, while pelicans' spoon-shaped bills can scoop through water to catch fish.

Special beak shapes are one way birds adapt to survive in their environment.

Pretend you're a bird and try getting your "bird food" with different- shaped "beaks."

Which shape works best to grab which food?

Place one type of "food" on a plate or in a pan.

Starting with one kind of tool or "beak," use one hand to hold the "beak" and the other hand to hold a cup or "stomach."

Try to pick up the "food" with the "beak" and place the food in the "stomach." Try to pick up all the different types of food with that beak.

  • Pretend "beaks" (tools or utensils) for picking up food, such as

  • Pretend "stomachs" (cups) to put in foods you pick up

  • "Foods" of different size and texture to pick up

Which "beaks" were able to pick up the food? Enter your results for each "food" in the area below!

Repeat these experiments with all the different "beaks!"
Which "beak" worked best for which "food?" Tell us about each "food" you tested!

marshmallows
YOUR RATING
Which beak was the EASIEST to pick up marshmallows?

The Great Blue Heron uses its long, pointy, toothpick-like beak for piercing its prey.
Sometimes heron get themselves in trouble trying to eat a fish that is too big to swallow!