Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Nesting Bird

Overview: Many birds build nests in Spring to lay eggs and raise their young. Students will create a collage of a nesting bird.
Subjects: Science and Art
Grade: PreK-2
Length: Moderate


  1. Provide students with information on birds, focusing on backyard visitors.
  2. Using a book about birds or individual pictures of them, have students identify birds that they've seen in their neighborhood. Ask them where they've seen them, or what the birds were doing.
    Example: "I think that's a bluebird. I saw one in my pine tree.."
  3. Explain that birds build nests in branches, in holes, or on the ground. We'll be making our own bird in it's nest.
  4. Each student should have a sheet of construction paper. With crayons, they should draw a tree branch, or a tree trunk with a branch across the middle of the page.
  5. Students can glue down four to six strips of paper somewhere on the branch.
  6. Glue down the bird body in the middle of the nest.
  7. Glue the wing and the head down in the proper location.
  8. Glue four to six strips of paper over the body, at the bottom. This will give depth to the nest (twigs behind and in front of the bird.
  9. Students can decorate their bird with eyes, extra feathers, or drawing in other birds in the background.


Certain birds build nests out of particular materials. If you would like to make the selection of colors more specific, we suggest the student pick a bird, and then the parts that match. We have some suggestions for some favorite birds:

  • Oriole: Orange/Yellow body, Black head, Black wing, Black beak
    Oriole Nest: white and yellow strips in a bag shape (nests hang and are made out of plant fibers, string, and hair)

  • Bluebird: Orange body, Blue head, blue wing, Black beak
    Bluebird Nest: orange and brown strips, in the tree trunk (nests are in hollows, made of twigs and pine needles)

  • Robin: Red body, Black Head, Black Wing, Yellow Beak
    Robin Nest: orange, brown and yellow strips, near the end of the branch (nests are untidy, and made of grasses, twigs, string, and anything the bird can find)

  • Hummingbird: White Body, Green Wing, Green Head, Black Beak
    Hummingbird Nest: White and gray/blue strips on a twig (nests are made of lichen and spiderwebs)

  • Blue Jay: Gray/White Body, Blue Wing, Blue Head, Black Beak
    Blue Jay Nest: brown and orange strips, on the branch (made of twigs and grasses)

  • Crow: all parts black
    Crow Nest: Brown and black strips near the top of the tree (nests are large and made of twigs and sticks)

  • Cardinal: Orange or Red body (F or M), Red Wing, Orange or Red head (F or M), Orange Beak
    Cardinal Nest: green, brown, yellow strips (nests are made of grasses and twigs)

  • Goldfinch: Yellow Body, Black Wing, Yellow Head, Yellow Beak
    Goldfinch Nest: green, yellow and white strips on branch (weeds, grass and spiderwebs)

  • Sparrow: White Body, Brown Wing, Brown head, Gray/Yellow Beak
    Sparrow Nest: Brown and yellow strips (dry grasses in a cup, in bushes)

  • Contact for this Page
  • Division of Operations
    Bureau of Environmental Education
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions