If you have happened to look recently at the water birds' yard you might have wondered about the purpose of the new apparatus. It's very simple – it's a feeding apparatus for birds! And for which birds? For the northern bald ibises. One of the problems typical of a mixed species yard is not that of food shortage – there is enough food for everyone – but how to make sure that a species with specific dietary needs will be able to obtain the food that is intended solely for it. The solution is a purpose-designed apparatus enabling only an individual of the specific species to reach the food in it. In this case, those with the specific dietary needs are the ibises. The new apparatus is constructed such that the ibises need to insert their long and curved beaks between the mesh wires in order to reach the food that is hidden in the soil that fills the apparatus. The beaks of the other water birds that live in the yard are not suitable for pulling out food from between the mesh wires, and thus only the ibises can eat this food. The new apparatus encourages the ibises to practice their natural foraging behaviour while also allowing us to monitor the food they are eating.  

The feeding apparatus, photo: Ron Elazari-Volcani

The feeding apparatus, photo: Ron Elazari-Volcani

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