A New Look at Easter: Nests, Eggs and Chicks

from Wildlife Promise

As birds gear up for spring egg-laying season, it’s an excellent time to learn about bird’s nests, eggs and chicks! This weekend I challenge you to celebrate the season and holiday by exploring the nature around you. I’d say reading this is a solid start.

Nests

I’m fascinated with all types of bird nests, and frankly I’m jealous of their craft. A favorite of mine, and the impressive, are the weaver birds primarily found in Sub-Saharan Africa. They make stunning nests by weaving (surprising, I know) grass and plant pieces together. Typically the male constructs a nest in an attempt to woo the ladies. The better the builder, the better the chances of finding a mate. I’ve included a video so you can watch a weaver bird at work! The nests are incredible, and I wish a weaver bird would make me one for Easter. All the kids would be jealous of my fancy basket.

Weaver Bird Nest

Weaver Bird Nest (Photo by Flickr/SomeHoosier)

 

Eggs

Many bird species lay their eggs in Spring. Their eggs come in all colors and sizes, and are pretty awesome. Some species lay eggs  in quick succession, while others stagger the laying over the course of a few days.  Either way, the group of eggs is called a clutch, and can include anywhere from 1 to 18 eggs! Ostrich eggs are the largest, and are the size of a medium cantaloupe. The smallest egg is laid by a bee hummingbird and, fittingly, is about the size of a bee. In addition to decorating eggs, kids can learn about bird eggs using common fruits and vegetables as a comparison in this activity.

(Left) Streaked Flycatcher Eggs by Flickr/ and (Right) Thrush Eggs by Arjan Haverkamp.

(Left) Bluebird Eggs by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region and (Right) Lapwing Eggs by Flickr/–Tico–

 

…And Chicks

I told a friend of mine about all the cool eggs I found for this post. Her reply was, “yes, but Easter isn’t about the eggs, it’s about the surprises you find inside.” That is absolutely true for nature as well (Note: please give chicks a few weeks to actually get cute). Here are a few cute chicks with eggs.

Lapwing Chick

Lapwing Chick (Photo by Flickr/mikethereservewarden)

Egret Chick

Egret Chick (Photo by Roger Smith)

Canadian Geese Goslings

Canada Goose Goslings by James Seith

Fun for Kids and Grownups

I know that now you are so excited about bird’s nests and eggs, you’d like to celebrate. It’s your lucky day. These are crafts, recipes and activities designed with Easter and Spring in mind. Have fun. I will be making the bunny hard-boiled egg snack.

Make a Bird Nest You Can Eat – You can build robin nests that are good enough to eat!

Decorate a Flower Pot with Egg Shells – A fun way to recycle your leftover egg shells!

Hunt for Signs that Spring Is Coming – Go outdoors and track down evidence of the new season.

Bunny Hard-Boiled Egg Snack – This bunny hard-boiled egg will hop right into your tummy!