The Avian Digestive System

What happens to food that a bird swallows? Find out on this journey into the avian alimentary canal.

April 10, 2024

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The Avian Digestive System


This episode is all about the Avian Digestive System. That’s right, kids, we’re looking at bird guts today!

If you’ve ever wondered what happens to a fish swallowed by a kingfisher or what happened to that piece of bacon swiped off your lunch plate by a cheeky Ring-billed Gull... Well, you're about to find out.

I’ve also drawn a diagram for you. I hope it helps you picture the arrangement of the various components of the digestive system.


Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). Photo by Jesus/Adobe.
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo). Photo by Prasan Shrestha/Wikimedia.
Spruce Grouse (Canachites canadensis). Photo by NPS/Wikimedia.
Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) male with esophageal air sacs inflated. Photo by BLM/Wikimedia.
Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin). Photo by Murray Foubister/Wikimedia.
Greater Honeyguide (Indicator indicator). Photo by Michael Heyns/Wikimedia.

This work by Ivan Phillipsen is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

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