Branching Out

What do you do when you need some habitat to set your bird on?

By: Jerry Simchuck

Creating habitat for your bird should be a fun and exciting stage of any project. You have a wide range of subjects to choose from and many ways to present and build them. One style I like is a non-pedestal presentation—a freestanding habitat on which the bird perches. That’s the approach I chose when it came time to design a new presentation for a black-capped chickadee, and I decided to place the bird on an aspen branch. In this article, I’ll show you how I created the branch. You can apply these techniques to many other types of habitat and presentations.

It’s easy to gather reference material for a project like this. Simply go outside and clip a branch that has a few leaves on it. Make your leaf patterns by outlining the leaves you like, or simply copy them on a copy machine. When fall approaches you might collect a few more leaves to get a sense of the color changes that occur as the year winds down.

When I decided to make a freestanding habitat for the black-capped chickadee, I wanted to choose a species of tree with small leaves that would complement but not overpower the bird. I also wanted something that had a delicate appearance but would be very sturdy and stable. The aspen tree proved to be ideal.


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