Gillespie Boy Scout Pack #51 enjoyed the grounds of the Bremer Sanctuary in Hillsboro on Saturday, July 21. Twelve students ranging in age from 5-10 years old, along with their leader and parent chaperones, participated in the “Which Nest is Best” workshop.
To kick off the program, Nancy Redman, Education Chairperson at Bremer, read a story to kids who were seated in the outdoor amphitheater. “Mama Built a Little Nest” by Jennifer Ward illustrates many types of bird nests and describes the birds that use them as their home.
Before the story, the scouts were asked what they knew about nests and most replied that nests were in trees and made of sticks. Post story, the participants had a much longer list of materials, like moss, feathers, grass and mud, and were quick to point out that some nests were located “in” trees such as a woodpecker cavity, on the ground such as meadowlarks or waterfowl or no nest at all such as killdeer or a falcon scrape.
The young group then paraded to the Education Barn to see a variety of nests and learn more about the local birds that construct them. A matching game was played where each child was able to select a small poster that described a nest and then matched it up to a nest in our collection. With that hands-on experience, they could grasp that yes, nests are really made of feathers, deer fur, spider webs and dried mud.
Their excitement was then unleashed as the participants assembled their own nest on a paper plate choosing the nest material they liked best. Sticks, straw, wood chips, raffia, moss, fluff, yarn and twine held together with tons of glue provided the perfect habitat for the construction paper cutout bird of their choice.
After a sack lunch, the troop hiked 1.5 miles through the Timber Trail and East Prairie. Their outing was topped off by a small hike to the new-elevated platform, which they all deemed “cool”!
Bremer Sanctuary is owned by the Illinois Audubon Society and is located 1 mile north of Hillsboro’s Historic Courthouse. To learn more about our upcoming events, “Like Us” on Facebook at Bremer Sanctuary, Hickory Hills Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society or check out our website at bremersanctuary.org.