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Birds That Collect Objects

| Updated September 26, 2017

Many birds build nests from leaves, dirt, mud and sticks. Bowerbirds, magpies, black kites and bald eagles are just some of the types of birds that steal trash and other items to make their nests. Magpies and bowerbirds collect baubles and trinkets to decorate their nests. Black kites use it to signify dominance and to scare off intruders.


These medium-sized birds are found in the northern part of Austraila and New Guinea. The males build nests called bowers to attract mates. The bowerbird male uses sticks and twigs to form a small hut or maypole. He then places brightly colored feathers, shells, discarded pieces of plastic and glass objects around the hut. They are also known to steal objects from neighboring bowers to have the best nest and attract the most mates.


Magpies are part of the crow family and can be found in Britain. The nest is dome-shaped and made out of twigs and mud. They can be a nuisance to people because they are attracted to glittery things such as jewelry, coins and trinkets and will steal these shiny objects for their nest.

Black Kites

These predatory birds are found across Europe and Asia. They steal trash to line their nest with bits of white plastic. The white plastic is an indicator of dominance and superiority. The more white plastic in the nest, the more likely the black kite can defend itself against intruders.

American Bald Eagle

The bald eagles is the largest bird of prey in North America and builds its nest in pine trees. The nest consist of scavenged items such as light bulbs, clothespins, plastic bottles and golf balls.