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Bird Footprints Craft

Bird Footprints Craft

BY STEPH WEIZENBACH, NATURE NETWORK COORDINATOR

Different types of birds leave unique footprints in the mud. Ducks and geese have webbed feet for swimming in the water. Shorebirds have long, skinny toes to help them run across the mud. Can you imagine what types of prints they would leave behind? Do this fun craft to find out! 

What you need:

  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Pipe cleaners 
  • Sponges 
  • Washable fingerpaint
  • Recycled container lid to put paint on
  • Paper or cardboard to paint on

What to do:

1: Using a marker, draw the outline of a webbed foot on a sponge. Cut along the outline with your scissors.

2: Cut a small hole in the heel of the webbed foot sponge. Thread three pipe cleaners through the hole to create three toes. Wrap the pipe cleaner at the front of each toe over the top of the sponge to secure it in place. 

3: Make a shorebird foot by shaping a single pipe cleaner into 3 toes and a leg. Did you know shorebirds have a fourth smaller toe at the back of their foot? See if you can include this fourth toe in your design.

4: Choose your paint colour(s) and pour some onto the recycled container lid.

5: Stamp your different bird feet into the paint and then onto your page to create a series of bird tracks.

Next time you walk along a shoreline, look carefully in the mud to see what bird prints you can find. Guess what kind of birds walked there – this craft should help you guess! 

Want to make even more bird footprints? Try making a woodpecker foot, with two toes forward and two toes backwards. This helps woodpeckers hold onto trees.

This article was originally posted in Nature Alberta Magazine Summer 2021.

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