Science Experiment – Beaks

By AG Education 10 January 2018
Reading Time: < 1 Print this page
Discover how different bird beaks are specialised for different tasks

About this experiment

Different birds have different types of beaks, which help them in particular ways. Some birds have long narrow beaks for getting nectar from flowers, wheras others have strong beaks they use to crack open nuts. In this experiment, you’ll try different tools to see what works best to learn why the specialisation of beaks is so important. Make sure you have adult supervision for using tools such as scissors and pliers.


  • Tweezers
  • Pliers
  • A clothes peg
  • Chopsticks
  • Scissors
  • MnMs
  • Marshmallows
  • Gummy worms  in a dish full of sugar
  • A bowl of rice
  • Some peanuts in the shell or similar


  1. Set up all your food in a line along a table.
  2. One by one, test each tool for how well it can pick up a piece of food, taking notes as you go.
  3. Repeat the experiment to see if you get the same results.
  4. Looking at the ‘beaks’ and the type of food that they are best suited for, can you think of any bird that they might represent?

As you test the different beaks with different types of food, you’ll make certain discoveries. The sharp, tearing scissors are able to cut through the marshmallow similar to the way thatan eagles beak can tear through flesh. The short thick pliers can crack the peanut shell the way that parrots such as cockatoos love to do. Birds with different eating habits have beaks that have adapted for the highest level of efficiency.

Do you want to keep learning? Find more experiments here!