Drinking Bird

Once it starts, the bird wont stop drinking! Be amazed by this science classic.
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Once it starts, the bird wont stop drinking! Be amazed by this science classic. A change in temperature begins a chain reaction that keeps the bird in perpetual motion. It endlessly dips in and out of a glass of water. A crowd pleaser offering hours of science entertainment.

Age: 8 + with parental supervision. This is not a toy, it contains methylene chloride (an industrial paint solvent) encased in fragile glass.

What you get

Drinking bird (Height is 17cm. Comes with either blue or red liquid inside glass bulb.

How does it work?

There are no batteries or wires, what keeps the bird dipping to take a drink? It seems scientifically impossible. The energy to keep the bird moving actually comes from the surrounding air. Just wet the birds head to start the process. As the water evaporates, the head becomes cooler than the blue liquid in the body. This results in vapour condensation in the head. The condensation, in turn, evaporates and shrinks making the air pressure lower in the head than the body. The low air pressure causes the blue liquid to move up into the head, tipping the balance. The beak is submerged in water, the pressure equalizes and the fluid flows freely to the body, the now bottom-heavy bird tips upright and the process starts again.


  • Prinicples of energy.
  • Vapour pressure.
  • Condensation and evaporation.
  • Liquid properties, like those of methylene chloride, a volatile liquid that evaporates easily at room temperature because of weak bonds between its molecules.
  • Balance and centre of gravity.


Getting started - place a glass or cup full of cold tap water in front of the bird. The birds legs should be a little higher than the glass. Submerge the birds felt head in the water to get the bird moving on its own. If it does not start to bob, adjust the neck of the bird up and down until you get movement. The bird will bob then dip its beak into the glass of water every so often, the rate dependent on factors like the temperature of the room. But expect a dip to happen in under a minute. If you find the bird's glass bulb is knocking the cup after it takes a drink, slide the metal collar down slightly to stop it.

WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD Small Parts. Not for children under 3 years.

More Information
Length (cm) 18
Width (cm) 5
Height (cm) 5
Age Group 9-10 Years, 11-12 Years, 12+ Years
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