Eggs are simply too heavy for a bird to carry around in their body
and still be able to fly. All birds lay eggs, and most eggs need
care – being kept at the right temperature, and turned –
and protection from hungry and opportunistic predators. For many
birds, raising chicks requires both parents, which may be why birds
have such elaborate courtship and pair-bonding rituals.
In this activity students will build a camouflage diorama to illustrate
the ways birds use camoflace to protect/hide their eggs. Students
will make paper-mache eggs, and paint them a variety of colors,
and place them against a variety of backgrounds to illustrate how
the markings fool the eye, and make the egg hard to see.
chicken wire, in about 6' squares
paper-mache craft materials, or newsprint and glue
(glue can be made of flour and water)
paints of various colors, and brushes
collected rocks and stones
box for diorama (shoebox is a good size)
STEP ONE: Make eggs out of paper mache.
Make glue by mixing flour and water to a runny paste (the thickness
of cream). Make the form of your egg by shaping the chicken wire
into an egg shape. On top of this you will apply layers of paper
mache. Craft stores sell kits, or you can use newsprint and glue:
Tear the newsprint into strips, and coat with glue, and wrap it
around the chicken wire, smoothing out any wrinkles. Apply layers
until your egg is stiff and strong, then let dry.
STEP TWO: Build a diorama.
Create an environment in your shoebox that might be like one in
the wild. Put in rocks, grasses, anything you like, to make a place
where your egg will be hidden.
STEP THREE: Camoflage your egg.
Consult the resources listed on this web page, and use different
colors and markings to make your egg hard to see against the background
of your diorama. When the whole class is done, you can put your
eggs in each others' dioramas and observe that what works in one
place may not work at all in another.
Click the icon to the left
to download a printable version of the activity