MV Blog


Feathering their nests

by Kate C
Publish date
27 January 2011
Comments (5)

Bernard in Public Programs didn't just receive a gory makeover for his stint as a security guard in the Science and Life commercial; he also needed a haircut to tame his unruly locks.

  Bernard's haircut Going, going, gone... Bernard's wild curls are trimmed off.
Source: Susan Bamford Caleo

But don't worry, the trimmings were put to good use... as nesting material for the finches and wrens in Melbourne Museum's Forest Gallery. In the wild, these birds salvage tufts of animal hair to line their nests and provide a soft bed for their chicks. During the birds' breeding season, Live Exhibits collect all sorts of materials that will make good nesting matter. This includes coconut fibres, fleece from sheep and horse hair to name a few. Staff stockpile material in spring and disperse them out in small amounts throughout spring and summer.

  Bag of hair Trimmings from Bernard's haircut.
Source: Museum Victoria

Rowena from Live Exhibits had the strange task of scattering the hair around the Forest Gallery early one morning. When I told her it was Bernard's, she said, "I don't know if it's better or worse, knowing who it belonged to!"

Rowena in Forest Gallery Rowena scattering the hair in the Forest Gallery for birds to use.
Source: Museum Victoria

About this blog

Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.