Build a Bird Nest | STEM Activity (2022)

STEM Activities

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Summary

45 minutes to 1 hour

45 minutes to 1 hour

Habitat, climate, material properties

Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies

Build a Bird Nest | STEM Activity (1)

Introduction

Different types of birds lay their eggs in different places. Some build tiny nests in bushes, some build enormous nests in tall trees. Some lay their eggs directly on the ground or on rocky ledges. Those that build nests use many different types of materials. In this project you will try to build your own bird nest using only natural materials that you can find outside. Can you do better than a bird?

This activity is not recommended for use as a science fair project. Good science fair projects have a stronger focus on controlling variables, taking accurate measurements, and analyzing data. To find a science fair project that is just right for you, browse our library of over 1,200 Science Fair Project Ideas or use the Topic Selection Wizard to get a personalized project recommendation.

Materials

  • Eggs or small rocks that you can pretend are eggs
  • Assorted natural materials that you find outside such as twigs, grass, leaves, dirt, rocks, sand, etc. The materials you have available will depend on where you live.
  • Bucket or other container to collect materials

Prep Work

  1. This activity can get messy. If possible, do your work outside. If you are working inside, build your nest on a tray to make cleanup easier.

    (Video) How to build a bird's nest using natural resources

Instructions

  1. First, go outside to see if you can find any bird nests nearby. If you find one, observe it carefully from a distance—do not get too close and disturb the nesting birds! Can you tell what materials the nest is made of?

  2. If you can't find any bird nests outside, search for pictures of bird nests online. How many different types of nests can you find? What are the nests made out of?

  3. Now, look around you for materials you can pick up easily, like twigs and rocks. Think about the purposes different materials could serve.

    Build a Bird Nest | STEM Activity (2)

    What materials do you think would make a good nest? Do any of them match the nests you saw in person or online?

  4. Use your bucket to gather a bunch of materials. Note that the bucket is a convenient time-saver for you, but birds don't have that luxury. They have to make many back-and-forth trips, often carrying one twig at a time!

  5. Now, use your materials to try and build a nest that will be able to safely hold at least one egg. This is an open-ended process—there is no single "correct" procedure to follow.

  6. "Test" your nest (gently at first!). Can you blow on it (or aim a fan at it), pick it up, or place an egg inside it? Does the nest fall apart or stay together? If it falls apart, what can you change to make it sturdier?

Cleanup

When you are done with your bird nest, dump all your materials back outside where you found them.

What Happened?

You might find that building a bird nest can be surprisingly difficult! If you just made a pile of dry materials like sticks or grass, your nest probably didn't stay together very well. It might fall apart if you blow on it or try to pick it up. You can make your nest much sturdier by weaving the materials together to form a basket, or using a binding material like mud as "glue" to hold the pieces together. Now the next time you see a bird nest, maybe you will be a little more impressed with these natural feats of engineering!

Digging Deeper

Depending on where you live, you might commonly see bird nests outside in the spring. In cities you might see them tucked along windowsills and building ledges, and in suburban or rural areas you can commonly find them in bushes or trees. If you look closely (without disturbing the nesting bird or the eggs!), you can probably see what materials the nest is made from. Some birds weave together grass and twigs to form a basket. Others might use binding materials like mud or even their own saliva to build or help support the nest. Depending on the location and climate of the bird's habitat, the materials birds use to build their nests might need to serve different purposes. For example, birds in a cold climate might line their nests with insulating materials like grass to help keep the eggs warm. Birds in a warmer climate might use rocks and seashells instead, because the gaps in between them allow better air flow to keep the eggs cool. Birds who build their nests on the ground might want to keep them well-camouflaged to help hide them from predators, and birds who build their nests in trees might need them to be sturdy so they don't get blown out by a gust of wind. This results in nests that are different sizes, shapes, colors, and made from different materials. No matter how they build their nests though, all birds have one thing in common—they have to rely on natural materials they can find outside. That made this project a little more difficult for you—you could not cheat by using materials like glue or tape!

Build a Bird Nest | STEM Activity (3)

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For Further Exploration

  • Some birds in cities must resort to building nests with garbage, like bits of plastic bag, string, or cloth, because they can't find enough natural materials like twigs, moss, or grass. Can you build a bird nest with artificial materials instead of natural materials? How do your two nests compare? See the Additional Resources section for an article with more information about this topic.

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Life is all around you in beauty, abundance, and complexity. Biologists are the scientists who study life in all its forms and try to understand fundamental life processes, and how life relates to its environment. They answer basic questions, like how do fireflies create light? Why do grunion fish lay their eggs based on the moon and tides? What genes control deafness? Why don't cancer cells die? How do plants respond to ultraviolet light? Beyond basic research, biologists might also apply… Read more

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FAQs

How do you make a bird nest for a school project? ›

For a quick and easy nest, shred or cut a paper bag into thin strips. Line a bowl with a paper towel, arrange the strips over them, then glue the paper bag strips together and let dry into a nest shape. It's fine to take a look at the eggs, but be careful, because smart animals like coyotes can follow you to the nest.

How do you make a bird nest step by step? ›

First up is the main structure. For this you'll need your lengths of privet twist. The first length

How do you make a bird's nest model? ›

It. Making you see the ramp you see pictures of you cut contain it here a capatch you don't know

How do you make a birds nest out of paper? ›

Make a bird nest with paper plates - YouTube

What materials do birds use to build nests? ›

Fallen leaves and twigs left unraked make excellent nest materials for many birds.
...
Do provide any combination of the following:
  • Dead twigs.
  • Dead leaves.
  • Dry grass (make sure the grass hadn't been treated with pesticides)
  • Feathers.
  • Plant fluff or down (e.g. cattail fluff, cottonwood down)
  • Moss.
  • Bark strips.
  • Pine needles.
20 Apr 2009

How do I make a bird nest at home? ›

How to Cook Bird Nest Correctly - YouTube

How do you make a bird nest out of cardboard? ›

Cardboard Birds Nest Box
  1. Step 1: Required Items. ...
  2. Step 2: Take the Required Cardboard Size. ...
  3. Step 3: Cutting the Bottom and Top for Gluing. ...
  4. Step 4: Secure the Bottom Side With Glue. ...
  5. Step 5: Secure the Top Side With Glue. ...
  6. Step 6: Make Hole for Inserting a Bark. ...
  7. Step 7: Paste the Dry Leaves All Over the Cardboard.

How do you make a simple bird box? ›

HOW TO MAKE A BIRD BOX, QUICK AND EASY - YouTube

How do you make a preschool nest? ›

STEM Challenge Week 6: How to Build a Bird's Nest for Kids - YouTube

How do you draw a nest with eggs easy? ›

How To Draw A Bird's Nest With Eggs - YouTube

How do you make a bird's nest with coconut shell? ›

The making of the coir bird nest follows: A complete coconut shell is split into halves. The two coconut shells are placed in such a way to form a c shape (one is held horizontally and another is placed inside vertically in it forming a hollow) It is held together by tying it with the help of thick twine threads.

How do you make a birdhouse for a school project? ›

Homemade BIRD HOUSE | Full-Time Kid | PBS Parents - YouTube

Why do birds build nests Class 3? ›

Birds build nests primarily to lay eggs in the nests and facilitate their young ones. Nests provide a safe environment for the babies to grow up.

How long does it take for a bird to build a nest? ›

It can take a bird anywhere from two days to two weeks to build a nest. The type of bird, the availability of materials, and the weather all play a role in how long it takes to build a nest.

How do you make a bird nest out of a paper bag? ›

EPLS Paper Bag Bird Nest Craft - YouTube

How do you make a nest without glue? ›

Artificial materials can also be offered as nesting materials, including: Undyed cotton or wool string or yarn in short lengths. Broken straw broom bristles. Small amounts of shredded paper without glue, staples, or other residue.

How do you make a bird out of paper plates? ›

Step 1: Cut the Paper Plate in half creating a ying-yang shape. Using the remainder of the plate, cut out a heart and beak shape. Step 2: Next, paint the bird – get creative use lots of colours and make a pretty pattern. Step 3: Using PVA glue, attach the wing and beak.

What time of day do birds build nests? ›

Don't check in the early morning: Most birds lay their eggs in the morning, so plan on visiting nests in the afternoon. Also, most adults will temporarily leave the nest when you are near, and eggs and young nestlings can become cold quickly if left alone in the morning.

Why are bird nests important? ›

The primary function of nests is to provide a suitable location for parents to lay their eggs and/or raise their offspring.

Where do birds build nest? ›

For some species, a nest is simply a shallow depression made in sand; for others, it is the knot-hole left by a broken branch, a burrow dug into the ground, a chamber drilled into a tree, an enormous rotting pile of vegetation and earth, a shelf made of dried saliva or a mud dome with an entrance tunnel.

How do you make a bird nest out of cardboard? ›

Cardboard Birds Nest Box
  1. Step 1: Required Items. ...
  2. Step 2: Take the Required Cardboard Size. ...
  3. Step 3: Cutting the Bottom and Top for Gluing. ...
  4. Step 4: Secure the Bottom Side With Glue. ...
  5. Step 5: Secure the Top Side With Glue. ...
  6. Step 6: Make Hole for Inserting a Bark. ...
  7. Step 7: Paste the Dry Leaves All Over the Cardboard.

How do you make a simple bird box? ›

HOW TO MAKE A BIRD BOX, QUICK AND EASY - YouTube

How do you draw a nest? ›

How To Draw A Bird's Nest With Eggs - YouTube

How do you make a bird's nest with coconut shell? ›

The making of the coir bird nest follows: A complete coconut shell is split into halves. The two coconut shells are placed in such a way to form a c shape (one is held horizontally and another is placed inside vertically in it forming a hollow) It is held together by tying it with the help of thick twine threads.

How do I make a bird nest at home? ›

How to Cook Bird Nest Correctly - YouTube

How do you make a bird box for kids? ›

Homemade BIRD HOUSE | Full-Time Kid | PBS Parents - YouTube

What makes a good bird house? ›

The best bird houses are made with quality materials like untreated wood (order of preference: cedar, pine or cypress or non- pressure treated plywood for larger houses) or recycled material like the products made from recycled milk jugs.

How do you make a wooden bird house? ›

How to Build a Birdhouse | This Old House: Live - YouTube

How do you draw a bird family? ›

How to Draw cute Bird Family - Step by Step Tutorial - YouTube

How do you draw a bird? ›

How to draw a Bird Very Easy Step by Step - YouTube

How do you draw a baby bird? ›

How To Draw Baby Bird WITH SHAPES! (for young artists)

Videos

1. How to make bird nest in a tree/DIY homedecor
(Mehraf's Creation)
2. Simple STEAM Activity - Bird Nest
(Goffstown Public Library)
3. BIRD nest basket / DIY paper craft /easy tips with Fontana craft/ #paperrecycling #DIY#fontanacraft
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4. BIRD NEST CRAFT
(KROKOTAK)
5. Bird's nest making at home cotton Bird making cotton craft how to make bird nest
(SHREE CRAFT- new craft ideas with waste material)
6. STEM Demonstration: Building Nests
(Wood County District Public Library)

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