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Support System for Nests


The purpose of this system is to provide a protective housing for nests so that they are not damaged during storage or examination.


Tamsen Fuller
325 S.E. Alexander Ave.
Corvallis, OR 97333 USA
Tel (504) 752-1475

Alice M. Blount
The Newark Museum
49 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07101
Tel (201) 596-6550
Fax (201) 642-0459

Carol Bossert
The Newark Museum
49 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07101 USA
Tel (201) 596-6550
Fax (201) 642-0459

Photograph: Tamsen Fuller

Illustrations: Karen Ackoff after
Tamsen Fuller

Publication: 1992


A pH neutral box with a polyester film window in the lid is used as the outer box. Inside, the nest is placed in an inner box with four sides that fold down. If the inner box containing the nest is smaller than the outer box, the empty space is filled with custom-cut blocks of polyethylene foam to prevent movement (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. left, Lid of box with polyester film window. right, Nest in fold-down box held in position by polyethylene foam.

To remove the nest for examination, the inner box may be lifted out of the outer support box. The nest may be examined on all sides by folding down the sides of the inner box without handling or removing it from its support.

Materials Tools Supplies

  • Bone folder
  • Metal straightedge
  • pH neutral blotter paper
  • pH neutral box with polyester film window
  • Polyethylene foam plank
  • Utility knife


  • 100% cotton twill tape
  • Polyethylene bag with zip closure


  1. Measure the length, width and height of the nest.
  2. Draw these dimensions on a piece of pH neutral blotter paper following the diagram in figure 2.

    Figure 2. Pattern for container with fold-down sides.

  3. Cut the blotter paper with a utility knife, according to the diagram in figure 2.
  4. Remove the four corner squares, and fold up the sides of the box with a bone folder.
  5. Insert nest into fold-down box (Fig. 3).

    Figure 3. Sides of container can be pushed down to examine nest.

  6. Place the fold-down box inside the outer box, and cut blocks of polyethylene foam plank to fill surrounding spaces. The sides of the fold-down box should be higher than the polyethylene foam blocks for easier removal.


  1. Cut two slits on the two opposite pairs of flaps of the blotter paper.
  2. Insert twill tape through slits so ties are on the outside of the container.
  3. Place nest in center of fold-down box.
  4. Pull ends of twill tape to slightly tighten the box.
  5. Insert the boxed nest in a zip-closing polyethylene bag.
  6. Place bagged nest in outer box. If nests are light, several can be placed in one box.
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