Bird Beak Buffet Lab

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					                                         Bird Beak Buffet
                                        Adaptation Lab #1

Objective: A. to observe and discuss the adaptations and restrictions of bird beak
characteristics. B. to simulate the use of different types of bird beaks to gather food.

A toothpick is the best beak for ___________________________________________________.
A clothespin is the best beak for ___________________________________________________.
Tweezers is the best beak for _____________________________________________________.
A spoon is the best beak for ______________________________________________________.

  o Beaks- tweezers, toothpick, spoon, clothespin
  o Food- gummy worms, sunflower seeds, rice, marshmallows, popcorn, and beans
  o Large container for feeding station
  o Small container for stomach (1 per group member)
  o Timer

1. Select one type of beak. You will use this beak throughout the lab.
2. Place feeding container in the center of the lab table.
3. Pour one type of food into the feeding container.
4. Place the stomach container next to you on the right and place your left hand behind your
5. Gather food for 30 seconds. Remember that all food must go into the stomach container and
it can only be gathered using the beak.
6. Record the number of pieces of food gathered for each type of beak.
7. Repeat steps 3 – 6 with other types of food.

* Remember if you touch the food with your hand then your stomach is emptied back into
the feeding container.
Observations and Data:
                    Clothespin             Toothpick             Spoon            Tweezers
gummy worms






Analysis and Questions: Answer each of the following questions in complete sentences.
1. Graph your data on a separate sheet of graph paper. Place food type on the x axis and pieces
of food on the y-axis. Be sure that you make each bar a different color to represent the
different beaks. Don’t forget to make a key.

2. Which beak is best adapted for each type of food?

3. Which beak would survive and environment with only gummy worms? Marshmallows?
Beans? Rice? Sunflower seeds?
4. What would happen to bird populations if there suddenly was a shortage of gummy worms
and an abundance of rice?

5. Apply your results to at least two factors of natural selection.

6. Use the internet or field guide to locate a bird that has a beak like:
       Spoon: ____________________________________________
       Toothpick: _________________________________________
       Tweezers: _________________________________________
       Clothespin: ________________________________________

4. What kind of food could each bird eat with its beak?
Conclusion: On a separate sheet of paper, write a conclusion that is a minimum of five
sentences and contains the following information.
   o Objective
   o Restate Hypotheses, were your hypotheses correct?
   o Define Adaptation
   o Discuss Results: give the number of pieces of each type of food the different beaks were
       able to pick up.
   o Describe the food types that each beak was best adapted for.
   o Explain how this experiment applies to natural selection.
   o One thing you learned

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