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Feathering Our Nests with Laurie Schultz

Now that we all have a bit more time to enjoy our homes and yards (feather our nests!), we can see that Spring is happening all around us. Birds, for instance. I’ve always loved beautiful birds and our family has been a member of The National Aviary for years. I remember one particularly memorable visit. We were enjoying the White-crested Laughing Thrush ( and I actually had a conversation with it. My boys were amazed that it kept answering me as I mimicked it’s laughing call. I learned from a staff member that they were incredibly social, often interacting with people.  

During our vacation the following year, we went to Bush Gardens in Florida and spent a lot of time in the Lorikeet enclosure. At that time, The National Aviary did not have their Lorikeet feeding activity, and this was the first time we were exposed to having birds land on us to drink from the little nectar cups. We were hooked and our son Tom wanted a bird ever since. Make sure you check out the Lorikeets at the aviary ( 

We finally got him a lovely Cinnamon Green Cheeked Conure as a graduation present. It wasn’t until we had a bird of our own that I really came to appreciate their mannerisms and communication.  

Every morning and evening, when we feed our bird, we put her remaining food outside and watch the outside birds (and sometimes squirrels!) enjoying her leftovers.  

If you interested in making a nest for your outdoor birds, please make sure you use the right materials. Many craft sites, with great ideas, have birds’ nest tutorials that are only for decorative purposes. Here are a few links to a fun Spring craft, and to resources for making nests that are safe for birds.  

ArtBar is a great website for crafts, and this fun nest is easy and uses readily available materials. The glue in this craft makes it unsuitable for live birds. 

If you’re interested in helping birds build their nests, here are a few links to get you started: 

And if you’d like to watch birds in their nests, try The National Aviary’s Nest Cams: 

Or go in person (keeping safe distance!) to the Mt. Lebanon Nature Conservancy’s Bird Park: 



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