Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bird Nests

I think I may be a bird brain except I don't fit the bill, as it were. My attention span is not that short.  I just find birds fascinating creatures.  Very few don't build a nest to raise their young. While some build an almost indiscernible nest, so little care seems to be taken in it's construction, others build fairly elaborate structures.  Knowledgeable birders (something I am not) can recognize what species of bird built a nest by simply examining the nest. I, on the other hand, can tell what kind of bird built a nest if the bird happens to be sitting on it when I see it.

I have no idea what species built this found nest, but it is not hard to infer that it was rather a small bird by it's size.  It is also a fairly deep nest.  The location of the nest (bush, tree, low, high) can aid in
identifying the bird and most of the time you can rule out exotic birds as candidates.  So, your choices can be narrowed some.  Cavity nesters can also be excluded also reducing the field of possibilities, but don't think that helped me identify the species that made this nest.  I still haven't a clue.  Look how intricately it is made, though. Each strand of grass and twigs are intricately and carefully woven into the design.  There is even a layer of (it looks like) squirrel hair woven in.  When you consider that the entire nest was built with only the use of their mouth, it is all the more amazing.

Here is another nest my grandson found in the woods the other day.  You can see how different it's qualities are. Built like a saucer, it is much shallower than the other and much sparser in the materials used, but just as intricately woven.  I watched a robin (although this is not a robin nest) building a nest last spring.  She would bring mud in from a spot in the woods just off the lawn where water accumulates, position it on the side of the nest, then use her breast to tamp it into a bowl shape.  It looks like whatever bird made this nest has done the same kind of thing. You can see the wall of mud around the outer edge.

Here is the same nest from the side.

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