Photo of Governor Martin O'Malley with group of children - Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature

Outdoor Activities for Children

Build Your Own Bird Nest

In spring, the weather is getting warmer, there are more hours of daylight, and many birds begin building nests. Have you ever thought about the fact that most birds are not taught how to build a nest – they are born knowing how? We call this knowledge “instinct”. To get an idea of what nest building might be like, try building your own bird nest.

You will need:

  • Natural materials for your nest – dried grass, twigs, spider webs, mud, dog fur, etc.
  • A tree branch that you can reach that has a fork in it for your nest
  • Three or four small stones about an inch across; these are the “eggs”
  • What to do:

  • Collect the materials for your nest
  • Find a low tree branch with a fork in it and build the nest in the fork
  • Once the nest is finished, place the stones in the nest. Does the nest hold the eggs?
  • Now shake the branch gently to see if your nest is strong enough to withstand a breeze.
  • If you really want a challenge:

  • Try building the nest using only one hand. After all, most birds use only their beaks.
  • In some cases, both the male and female birds work together to build the nest.
    Get a friend and work together (using one hand each) to build the nest.
    Is it easier to do it alone or working with someone else?
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