Exploring Birds’ Nests

By Connie Goldin, LMFT


Learning about Birds and Eggs Through Art!


The other morning, I was woken up at 3 AM by loud trills, tweets, running melodies and exotic dips and rises by a loquacious Mockingbird outside my window. This busy and loud songbird was no doubt seeking a mate or at least bragging about himself in some way! His concert continued for two hours, when I finally conceded defeat and woke up and started the day at 5 AM.

The Mockingbirds are seriously involved in the mate-finding and territory-protecting process in my yard. Their songs are beautiful and strong. I am surprised, too, by the strength of the small Sparrows, as they make their music. Their songs are also forceful and musical. I may grumble about their time schedule, but I am delighted they make their homes in my yard. Because nest-building is well underway in San Diego, we don’t trim our hedges for a couple of months. The yard will look a bit overgrown, but we will have given the birds a chance to raise their young. The eggs are fragile and at risk from predators, such as crows, rats, and raccoons. They need a little help from their human friends.

To explore eggs this spring, we start with a wonderful book, An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long. Everything about this book is beautiful–the poetic text, the illustrations, and the sense of wonder expressed. This is a must-have book for family libraries. It is nonfiction and informative. The information about eggs and the many creatures that produce them is an important part of a science education. The illustrations of the birds, insects and reptiles whose eggs are featured is an easy reference guide. Children of all ages, and their parents, will be delighted by An Egg is Quiet.

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To explore eggs through art, paint river rocks in interesting shapes and have fun spotting and splattering them. This is how we did it:



Next step is making little nests. Use what’s on hand. We used a tiny branch wreath and pebbles, and biodegradable “seed-starter pots” filled with moss or rafia:

Now you have a spring centerpiece for your table!

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