Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bushcraft - Central Texas Style - Nature’s Engineers

When it comes to building a natural shelter, you can learn a valuable lesson from some of nature’s smallest creatures. Birds are capable of building elaborate nests for their young and their survival is dependent upon their ability to build a nest that will protect their young. The amazing thing about birds is they build these nests using only their beaks. They are the true engineers of nature.

Birds can build very elaborate nests from a wide variety of materials and place them in some very inaccessible locations. Leaf fibers, grass, and twigs are the usual components but also can include other items. They also use natural adhesives to help keep their nests together. These adhesives can be mud, spider webs or various other naturally occurring adhesives often found in certain plants. Their choice of nesting materials is an important component for proper nest construction. Their nests will also vary in size, shape, the type of materials used and construction techniques depending upon the species of bird. Sometimes you have to go out on a limb. so to speak, in order to get a decent picture. See if you can spot the natural adhesive used by many birds in the picture shown above. 

They also make use of other items to provide additional protection for their nests. Many birds include the scat from natural predators in the construction of their nests. The major reason for this is more than likely the fact that the smell will usually provide a deterrent for predators and make their nests much safer. They will quite often include fibers, leaves and twigs from certain plants and herbs to give additional protection to their nests from disease caused by bacteria or other harmful germs that could create a risk for their young.

So the next time you get a little frustrated when you need to build a natural shelter for your own protection, remember that you have two distinct advantages over one of nature’s best engineers...hands.

Got dexterity?

Staying above the water line!



One Fly said...

Excellent post RWer.

riverwalker said...

To: One Fly

Thanks my friend. Hands are a definite advantage.

They makes it easier and quicker to accomplish a lot of different tasks that would otherwise be more time consuming and darn near impossible to achieve otherwise.


Anonymous said...

I've come to realize that when it comes to shelter or fire gathering materials, a good set of gloves is highly recommended. Hands are just too valuable to risk damaging, as are your feet.

In my area, my 'nest' is built with a hammock, getting off the ground to avoid the creepy crawlies and catch the wind is almost a necessity for a good nights sleep.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 7:25

Yep! Got to have a decent pair of gloves to protect the digits.

Avoiding the crawlies at night is a good idea also...

Thanks anon.


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