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Birds and Beaks

1 Hour
Book Program
Year Levels


Birds’ beaks allow them to eat, aid with hunting and can be used as a defense mechanism. Beaks are categorised according to their shape and function. There are two types of birds’ beaks: 
  • generalist beaks: who use different techniques to obtain food, whose beaks do not have a specific shape
  • specialist beaks: whose beaks are adapted for a single function. 

Prior Knowledge

No prior knowledge necessary. This can be a pre-visit, post-visit or a stand-alone activity.

Key Learning Question

How does the structure of a birds’ beak determine what they eat and how does this impact their survival?

Learning Intentions

In this program students will:

  • Link the shape of a bird’s beak with its diet
  • Understand that birds cannot change their beak if their food source is unavailable


Students will:

  • Match six tools with six tasks such as cutting and breaking things apart
  • Link the action of each of these tools with a specific bird’s beak
  • Discuss the implications of the specificity of many birds beaks to their survival

Victorian Curriculum

Science - Biological sciences

  • Living things have structural features and adaptations that help them to survive in their environment (VCSSU074)
  • The growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment (VCSSU075)

Learning Continuum

The following Learning Continuum is a guide for teachers to show the links between the programs Ecolinc offers onsite, online and through outreach. The Learning Continuum can be used to access Ecolinc resources to support the development of units of work.
Outreach programs are conducted by an Ecolinc education officer at your school. They are available to moderately disadvantaged primary schools in the Geelong, Ballarat and western suburbs areas (or within 100km radius from Bacchus Marsh).


Birds and Beaks