Birds are great builders! Every year they carefully select materials to weave a safe place to lay their eggs and raise their hatchlings. It looks like pretty hard work too! This year Fiddlebug wanted to give them a little help by putting together a special basket of colorful nesting supplies. He is going to put it in a safe place where his feathered friends can get to it easily without having to fly too far from their nesting site. Later this summer, once the baby birds have grown up and flown off into the world, Fiddlebug has plans to look around for nests that have his colorful bits woven into them. That way the little dragon will be able to put together a basket with more of the bird’s favorite materials in it next year!
If you would like to help your local bird population out with some building supplies, here are directions for Fiddlebug’s Bird Nest Baskets:
What you need:
For the Basket –
Clear plastic wrap
About twenty 8 inch long pieces of twine or thin yarn
White school glue (the liquid kind)
For the Nesting Supplies –
You want to stick with natural fibers that will biodegrade, or able to break down and rejoin nature, over time. I’ve chosen felt, cotton string, some dryer lint, and since my son got a recent hair cut, some of his hair. Avoid plastics and nylons. Metals don’t do well either as they might poke the babies. Be creative!
What you do:
1) Flip one bowl upside down and cover it tightly with the clear plastic wrap.
2) Fill the other bowl with white school glue.
3) Dip each piece of twine or thin yarn into the white glue, making sure it is well coated. Remove excess by pulling the piece of yarn through your loosely pinched first finger and thumb.
4) Drape or wrap your glue coated yarn on the plastic covered bowl.
5) Repeat steps 3 and 4, making sure to drape and wrap the pieces differently so they overlap each time to form your basket. You will want to use all of the pieces. If it looks like you need more to make your basket stronger, have your big person cut some more and keep going.
6) Let your basket dry. This may take a day or two, so be patient.
7) When the basket is dry, carefully remove it from the bowl. You may have to remove it with the plastic wrap still attached and then carefully peal the plastic wrap away from the yarn. A big person is very helpful for this step.
8) Add the nesting supplies to the basket.
9) With your big person’s help, find a safe place to put the new basket outside where the birds can get to it easily. It will probably take them a few days to find it and get comfortable enough to use the materials you have offered them. You can put some bird seed close by to help attract them if you’d like!
Note: When it rains, your basket will start to come apart. This is a good thing! The glue will wash away without hurting anything, and the yarn or twine will become nesting materials as well!
Being a homeschooling parent for 13 years and an independent author/illustrator makes a person learn quite a bit about a lot of things. Now it's time to pass it on!