Bird adaptations- Beaks
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A look into the adaptations that help get birds the food they need.
An LSU Museum of Natural Science presentation to accompany the activity
The most important function of a bird bill is feeding, and it is shaped according to what a bird eats.
You can use a beak shape to:
-The pelican has a long beak with
a hooked tip and a huge pouch.
-The pelican’s pouch is used as a dip net to catch fish.
-The pouch can even stretch to hold
up to two gallons of water!
-Wood ducks have broad, flat bills with rows of fine notches along the edge.
-They eat plants, seeds, grasses and other small insects and animals that they find on or under the water.
-American robins search the
ground for insects and berries.
-They most commonly eat
earthworms, grubs, butterflies, cherries, and blueberries.
-Though sparrows generally prefer to eat seeds with hard shells, sometimes they also eat flowers, insects, spiders, and berries.
-Sparrows look for food on the ground or in low bushes. They sometimes even fly up to catch insects in flight.
-Herons and egrets eat fish, crustaceans, and insects using their beak much like a spear.
They often stalk their prey in shallow water, often running or shuffling their feet, flushing prey into view.
-Hummingbirds have long beaks that are essential for reaching into long, tubular flowers to gather nectar.
-Hummingbirds’ beaks are also
used to clean their feathers and to build their nests.