In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until they are very stiff. (For best results, use room temperature egg whites and make sure your beaters and bowl are very clean.)
Add the sugar to the beaten egg whites one tablespoon at a time, beating well between each addition. Continue to beat until the mixture is very stiff.
Mix in a few drops of lemon extract and a drop or two of yellow food coloring.
Using a pastry bag with a round decorating tip (a Wilton #10 or #11) pipe the body of the bird. With the tip straight down, squeeze and lift slowly, allowing the mixture to build up around the tip, and then slowly raise the tip to a horizontal position, pulling backwards while releasing pressure, to create a pointy tail. The faster you do this the better it turns out! This may take a little practice, but this recipe makes a lot more birds than you will need, so you’ll be able to pick out the best ones later.
Add small wings to either side of the bird by squeezing the pastry bag gently as you touch the bird and then pulling away quickly.
Add a round head, letting the meringue build around the tip, and then pulling towards the front to create a small beak.
Bake for one hour. Slide the parchment paper and birds onto racks to cool completely.
If desired, use a toothpick dipped in melted chocolate to give the bird eyes, and paint or pipe orange on the beaks using a simple powdered sugar-water-orange food coloring mixture or melted orange candy melts.
Note: Since this recipe makes more birds than you will need, if you’re sure you have plenty of birds you like, pipe the rest of the meringue into flower shapes or circles.
Courtesy of Mom Foodie - Meringue Birds & Nests (Birds) find it at https://momfoodie.com/meringue-birds-nests/