Animal Adaptations (Grades 3-5)

Learn about the different types of beaks birds have in this activity from the NY STEAM Bus. 

A teacher at a table with a set of binoculars and a statue of a bluejay

Watch The Bird Beak Challenge

Did you ever notice how some birds have tiny pointy beaks but other birds have long skinny beaks, and others birds — especially ones that live near water — have beaks that are almost like big scoops? 

In this video from the NY STEAM Bus at Niskayuna CSD, Christa Catalfamo, a graduate student at Clarkson University, will show you how birds’ beaks are adapted to their environments.

Some birds eat insects, while others eat nectar from flowers. Some birds even go fishing for their food or hunt for small animals to eat.

What You Need

  • A piece of paper or print out this one-page Birding Journal
  • A pencil, pen, or marker to write with
  • Colored pencils, crayons or markers

What To Do

  • Take a walk outside and see what birds you can find.
  • Take notes in your Birding Journal or on your paper. What birds do you see? What day and time did you spot the bird? What is the bird doing? What else do you notice?
  • Draw a picture of the birds you see.
  • Think about that bird’s beak. What kind of food do you think it helps the bird to eat?

Visit to share what you learned!