Birds of a feather: Making Bird Beaks

P1040841Did you know bird beaks are different based on the type of food that they eat. Birds that eat seeds tend to have smaller, thicker beaks perfect for cracking them open. Birds that eat nectar have long, slender beaks so that they can lap up nectar with their tongues. Birds of prey have peaks on the end of their beak for tearing.

Each summer at Farrington, we like introducing new art activities that connect the natural world with creative expression and creates a memento to take home. This year, we created bird beaks. Campers would flip through a variety of pictures of birds that make (or could make) their home at Farrington, and pick a bird that they liked, looking at both the coloring and size and shape of the bird and also what it eats. They then would make a mask to represent the coloring of the bird, and a beak that would work for the type of food they consumed.

To make your own bird beak, you can design the shape yourself, or use a pre-made sample. Remember that for most bird beaks, you will draw two halves of the beak, and then use clear tape to connect them. This will allow the beak to ark like a real beak. Then use a mix of natural materials they find around the property and crayons, colored pencils and markers to make their designs. Cut or hole punch a hole in either side of the beak, then tie string on to make it the right size for your head. We’ve found elastic string makes it much easier to take the beaks on and off, or you can use two pipe cleaners, one attached to each side so that you can fasten and unfasten them together.

Have fun making your bird beaks! Here’s a picture of our staff making their own.P1040838P1040837

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