Sandra Duncan

Lessons From The Bowerbird - How To Create Appealing, Beautiful, And Purposeful Habitats

Bowerbird Nest

Although a bird may seem like an unlikely role model for teachers, the bowerbird, a small native of Australia and New Zealand, has a lot to teach us about early childhood classroom design. This amazing avian artist and architect goes to extraordinary lengths to build and decorate his nest or bower. Spending countless hours searching and collecting, the male bowerbird beautifies his habitat with broken bits of colorful glass, fragments of holiday garland and tinsel, shiny gum wrappers and milk caps, pieces of plastic and metal, tiny morsels of beautiful berries, and multicolored bits of yarn and string. His collections are painstakingly arranged according to type of material and color—especially the color blue, which is a favorite of the female bowerbird.

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