May 14, 2020

Make-your-own-nest education challenge! (Pre-K - 5th)

Screen shot of how-to-build-a-nest video

Learn how to build a nest with no hands - click here for worksheets and a how-to video!

Think you can build a bird nest without your hands? Now that we're deep in the thick of spring, many birds are doing just that, so California Waterfowl’s Education Team has a new challenge for students in Pre-K through 5th grade: Show us your home-made nests!

Scroll to the end of this page to see a video of Education Coordinator Miss Molly Maupin showing you how to turn one hand into a beak or bill and the other into a bird's foot, then use those tools to make a nest. You can also find worksheets with answer keys here.

Contest Rules

What: Using whatever materials you want/have available (sticks, grass, paper, straws, etc.), have your child or student attempt to make a nest by turning their human hands into the body parts that birds use.

Who: For kids in Pre-K through fifth grade.

When: The deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, May 29, 2020.

Judging criteria: Realism, creativity and charm

The stakes: The top five nests created will receive a free Junior Duck Stamp Calendar, a set of duck trading cards and an educational bookmark, and the winners will be featured in the next issue of Sprig Tales Magazine, CWA's publication for youth.

How: When your student is finished, please email a full-sized (not compressed or reduced) photo of the nest to Miss Molly’s email at

Extra credit: For extra fun, record and time your student and give them two minutes to make a nest using this technique. If you end up posting your build-a-nest challenge video to social media, please make sure to tag us - we're @CaliforniaWaterfowl on Facebook, and @calwaterfowl on Instagram, where you can also use #buildanestchallenge in your caption.