Nests are warm, safe places where birds lay eggs and where the nestlings (baby birds) develop after they have hatched. Birds do not sleep in their nests at night. Instead, they roost on perches in sheltered places, such as hedges and tree.
Constructing the nest is usually the female’s job. The first step is to choose a good site. Then the materials are gathered. Twigs, leaves feathers, moss, wool, and mud are all used by various birds. The nest-building bird pushes the materials into place, and hollows out the inside with her body. The finished nest may be lined with soft materials, such as feathers, to protect the eggs.
Nesting birds are fascinating to study. Attract birds into your garden, and help them to nest and raise their young by building a nesting box in the early spring. You may see birds fly by with nesting materials in their beaks, looking for a place to build. Many birds build their nests wedged in the forks of tree branches. Nest-building uses up a lot of time and energy. It may take between a week and month, yet most nests last for just one breeding season, and are ruined by winter weather.
In the spring, try handing nesting material from branches or a window sill. You can use wool, string, grass, moss and feathers. You could also try paper tissue, straw and animal hair. Different bird species like different materials. Try and find out which materials are chosen by various birds.
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