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Humans to live in huge hummingbird nest at Lincoln Park Zoo ... for a day

Updated: November 16, 2011 1:19AM

Bird is the word at the Lincoln Park Zoo, where a human-sized hummingbird nest will be under construction beginning Thursday.

The nest, made of 1,800 feet of bungee cord and an enormous steel twig, will be occupied by three TV hosts on Monday as part of Nat Geo Wild’s “Live Like An Animal” series.

The three men previously spent 24 hours in a man-made beaver’s lodge in London and a wasp’s nest in New York City.

“It’s just sort of a test, can you build like an animal, can you live like an animal,” said Richard Pearson, the show’s producer, as he strolled through Lincoln Park Zoo looking for local materials like wood chips or plants to incorporate into the nest. “In this particular place, three grown men will spend a total of 24 hours living in the nest and we’ll see what they experience.”

They won’t have much room. The nest will be approximately 5.5 feet in diameter and 3 feet deep, which mimics the hummingbirds small nest of “stretchy and strong materials,” Pearson said.

On the previous two projects, the TV crew realized they could not build the animal home as well as the animals could. Pearson said he wouldn’t be surprised if at some point there is a trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond to pick up some sort of necessary “doodad.”

“There comes a point that what the animal does is impossible to do on a human scale without a bit of a cheat,” he said. “By the time you’ve got three men in there, you can’t afford for the nest to fall.”

The men can leave to use the bathroom, which they may need to do often as producers plan to have them drink a can of pop every 10 minutes, a similar diet to the hummingbird.

The construction and nest live-in are open to the public and will take place in the zoo’s main mall.

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