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Birds and their food

Background

Birds live in a variety of places and eat a variety of foods. Some birds are pure carnivores (flesh eating) like kites and vultures. Most birds are omnivorous (both vegetarian and non-vegetarian) in their food habit. Birds use their beaks and claws to catch and eat their food. 

Aim

Observe birds and their food habits

Relate their food habits with their bills and feet 

Activities

Make a list of common birds in your neighbourhood. Find out what they eat. On the basis of their food habits classify them as

(1) carnivorous (animal eaters, example insects, mice, dead animals, etc.)

(2) herbivorous ( plant eaters, example grains, fruits, nectar, etc.)

(3) omnivorous

Make a bird feeder. This could be just a bowl or even an elevated place in which you can keep some food for birds. The birds should be able to feed freely and undisturbed. Make sure you can see the feeder and the feeding birds clearly. Keep different types of food in it. Match the food with the birds that eat it. Tabulate your observations. Which are the birds that share the same food.

Observe the bills and feet of carnivorous birds. Make a drawing of them in your notebooks. What similarities do you observe? What differences do you observe? Compare the bills and feet of carnivorous birds with those of herbivorous and omnivorous birds.

Look for bird nests. Without disturbing the nest or the young birds, observe the parents feeding the chicks. What food do they bring for the chicks? Make a list. Use a pair of binoculars if possible.

What else can you say about the bird by looking at its legs and claws? For example, aquatic birds like the duck have webbed feet and birds roosting on trees close their claws around twigs or branches. Observe the birds’ feet and guess where it dwells. Confirm your guess. 

Related Questions

How does the shape and structure of bills help birds in gathering and eating food?

Some birds catch their food while flying. Name these birds. Observe how they catch their food.

Depending on the food birds eat, is it possible to say where they live?

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