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Rain Forest Canopy and Species of Animals (page 2)

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Author: Janice VanCleave

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The edges of the leaf are sewn together.

Why?

The tiny tailorbird bird lives in the canopy layer of tropical rain forests in Southeast Asia. This bird got its name because it sews together the edges of leaves to hold its cocoon like nest. In this investigation, you used tweezers and string to sew a leaf together. The strings are not tied together but instead are pulled through two sets of holes in an effort to hold the leaf together. The tailorbird uses its beak and plant fibers, silk from spider webs, or any available thread-like material to make its nest. The tailorbird uses its beak to bend one large leaf or several smaller leaves in half and to punch holes through the edges of the leaf. It then draws the fibers through the holes to sew the edges of the leaf together. The bird then puts more fibers inside the leaf to make a nest in which the female lays three eggs.

Rain Forest Animals

More Fun with Birds!

The canopy of tropical rain forests is the leafiest layer, so it attracts the most insects and the most insecteating birds. You can attract seed-eating birds and observe their behavior by providing them with food. Build a bird feeder using a thin plastic bottle with a lid, such as a soda bottle. Ask an adult to cut two 2-by-2-inch (5-by-5-cm) windows on either side at about 3 inches (7.5 cm) above the bottom of the bottle. Ask an adult to cut holes below each window. You need holes large enough to push a stick, small wooden dowel, or pencil through to form a perch for the birds. Once the stick is in place, fill the bottle up to the window opening with birdseed. Put the lid on the bottle and tie a string around its neck. Hang the bird feeder outside near a window where you can observe it. Keep fresh birdseed in the container.

Book List

  • Dennis, John V. and Michael McKinley. How to Attract Birds. San Ramon, Cal.: The Solaris Group, 1995. Information on how to attract birds by offering the materials they need for survival.
  • National Wildlife Federation. Birds, Birds, Birds. New York: Learning Triangle Press, 1997. Activities, games, and information about birds, including those in tropical rain forests.
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