Skip to main content
Biology LibreTexts

Bird Beaks and Feet

  • Page ID
    26211
  • What Does a Bird's Beak Tell You About Its Diet?

     

    Birds.png

    Beaks and Feet.png

     

    Bird Type of Feet Type of Beak Probable Diet Probable Habitat
    Chicken        
    Duck        
    Eagle        
    Sparrow        
    Flamingo        
    Heron        
    Kingfisher        
    Owl        
    Pelican        
    Hummingbird        
    Woodpecker        

     

    Analysis

    1. What features of a hummingbird make it adapted for its style of feeding?

    2. Imagine an ideal flying predator. What type of beak and feet would it have?

    3. Different birds may have similar beaks and diets. Loons, herons, and kingfishers, for instance, all have long sharp pointed beaks for spearing fish. Their feet, however, are quite different. Describe how the loon, heron, and kingfisher differ in the method by which they hunt for fish (using their feet to help you answer.)

    4. Owls have large eyes that enable it to see well at night. Both the hawk and the owl hunt similar things: small rodents or snakes. How do the hawk and the owl avoid competing with each other?

    5. In the two previous questions, you were asked to analyze how birds reduce competition with each other when they hunt similar prey and live in similar habitats. This idea among ecologists is known as the"Competitive Exclusion Principle" which suggests the no two species can occupy the same niche. Use your book other other resources to define the word: niche and provide examples from this activity of a bird's
    niche.