Animals need nice cozy homes just like we do — and they have to work hard to build them. So our friend Sophie O. asked us, how many twigs are in a bird’s nest? That’s a great question, since there are so many kinds of bird nests. There are “scrape nests,” where birds dig a hole in the dirt; “mound nests,” where they push together a pile of dirt…obviously those have zero sticks. What we’re talking about here is “cup and saucer” nests, the bowl-shaped nests made of sticks. An eagle nest runs up to 5 feet wide and 4 feet deep, which is huge. But let’s stick with our everyday robin’s nest, which is just a few inches wide. One website tells us that a robin needs to gather about 350 twigs and blades of dried grass, then weaves all those pieces those together. If that sounds like a lot of work, imagine how that eagle feels.
Wee ones: If the nest needs to hold the mommy robin, the daddy robin and 3 babies, how many birds is that?
Little kids: If the robins start building on a Tuesday and finish 3 days later, when do they have their nest? Bonus: If the robin can fly with 9 twigs in its claws and another 5 twigs in its beak, how many can it carry at once?
Big kids: If the robins can carry only 10 twigs at a time, how many trips will it take to collect 350? Bonus: If each twig is 6 inches long, how long are those 350 sticks laid out end to end? (Hint if needed: A foot has 12 inches, so these are 1/2-foot long…how far would they stretch if they were each 1 foot?)
Wee ones: 5 birds.
Little kids: On Friday. Bonus: 14 twigs.
Big kids: 35 trips. Bonus: 175 feet!
And thank you Sophie for the awesome bird drawing, too!