8.07.2006

Nesting

Look at this cool nest I found over the weekend. It was lying on the grass under an old apple tree in our yard. It’s so tiny that I’m not sure what bird made and used it—maybe a hummingbird or chickadee—we have both. Guess I need to buy one of those bird nest identification books to add to our reference collection.

bird nest

And I noticed that my cats are spending quite a lot of time sitting in the window that looks out over the lilac bush at the corner of the house. There’s a nest of baby robins right in the middle of it. It seems kind of late for babies but there are three. With wide open beaks that mom spends all her time trying to fill. This is endlessly fascinating to my cats and, I have to admit, to me, too.

baby robins

One of the things I love best about living in the country is how close you can get to nature. That’s sometimes not so much fun when it’s a nest of yellowjackets or the deer that thinks my garden is her personal salad bar. But I love that I can hear coyotes running in the woods at night, and that the same broad-winged hawks return every spring and raise their babies here. I feel lucky to be witness to the cycles of life that occur all around me.

Edited to say that I now believe this is a Chipping Sparrow nest. I was at a used book store recently and paged through the pictures in a book on nests and that's my best guess. They are fairly small birds, too, and we probably have more of them than any other kind.

5 comments:

Jackie said...

We had 5 bird nests in our yard with babies in them earlier this summer. Every day my kids checked on them. Now they've all flown off. It's so fun to watch them grow! (I also have a deer and her two fawns who use my yard as their salad bar - they're so cute, but I'd like to grow some roses!!)

Lauren said...

Love the nests!!

patricia said...

Janet: I can't identify the nest, although don't think it belongs to a hummingbird. Their nests are extremely small and tightly woven often using spider webs and bits of moss and lichen.

patricia said...

For anyone interested in birds' nest identification, an excellent book is the Peterson Guide "A Field Guide to the Birds' Nests: United States east of the Mississippi River." I scanned my copy and didn't see the one you found, but read that chickadees nest in tree cavities or birdhouses. Maybe it was a young robin whose sense of 'scale' wasn't fully developed yet??.....

janet said...

Thanks for the book reference - I just knew there was a Peterson guide to nests! After looking at our hummingbird some more I can see that the nest is too big. And I don't think it's a robin—it's too dainty and loosely woven. The nest with the baby robins is really messy and solid—there are even strips of plastic in it. Who knows, we must have 20 kinds of birds here. But I'll look for the book nest time I'm at Borders.