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Help Build a Bird Nest


Springtime is a wonderful time to see birds searching for bits of twigs, grass, and other things to build their nests. You can help them too; then enjoy their nests and the sounds of young hatchlings chirping for food throughout the spring!


  • brightly colored yarn
  • string
  • lint from the clothes dryer


Nancy F. Castaldo is the author of many books packed with inspiring ideas for childhood discovery and learning. In addition to the three titles above, Nancy has written activity guides for teaching children ages 6 to 9 about the ocean, rainforests, deserts, and rivers. All of these titles are published by Chicago Review Press.

Click here to learn about these books and others by Nancy Castaldo.

Gather together pieces of brightly colored yarn, string, and pieces of lint from the clothes dryer.

Place them outside on tree branches and shrubs where birds can snatch them for their nests.

In a few days look around for the bits of colored yarn and string peeking out of the nests the birds have made. If you look very carefully, you may see several nests made with your help! Please don't disturb the nests, of course.


Involve students in some of these extension activities:

Build a birdbath. Just like people, birds like to keep clean. Place a shallow bowl outside with some water to make birds their very own bathtub.

Name all the places you have seen birds. If you were a bird, where would you choose to live?

Read Cradles in the Trees, The Story of Bird Nests by Patricia Brennan Demuth or And So They Build by Bert Kitchen.


Most birds build nests to help keep their eggs and baby birds warm and safe from enemies. Many birds, like robins and chickadees, build their nests in trees and bushes. Others, like the peregrine falcon, build their nests along rocky cliffs. And swallows make their nests in the eaves of barns and other buildings.

Sometimes baby birds fall out of their nests. Let your students know that if they find a baby bird on the ground, they should ask a grown-up to try to put it back in its nest. If the nest cannot be found, place the bird in a nearby bush or tree. The parent bird will be looking for it.


Education World's special Spring Lessons Archive


This activity is excerpted from Nancy Castaldo's Sunny Days and Starry Nights, which is published by Chicago Review Press. The activity is one of more than 65 activities from Sunny Days and Starry Nights that are sure to inspire children as they discover and learn.

About the Author

A native of New York's Hudson Valley, Nancy Castaldo earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Marymount College and a Master of Arts from the State University of New York. As an environmental educator, author, and Girl Scout volunteer and board member, Castaldo has led numerous children's workshops. Her school programs include workshops on ocean creatures and other nature topics, creative writing, and pizza making/Italy. She has conducted programs at the Boston Children's Museum, Atlanta Zoo, and Tennessee Aquarium. Castaldo's books include River Wild: An Activity Guide to North American Rivers; Oceans: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9; Deserts: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9; and Rainforests: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9. She is also author of a historical-fiction picture book, Pizza for the Queen. To learn more about Nancy and her books, check out her Web site, www.nancycastaldo.com.

Article by Nancy Castaldo
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