Hello everyone and welcome back! I hope you’ve been filling your feeders and spending some
time at the window watching birds in this chilly weather.
I have been out walking on the trails this week and I’ve noticed something really cool! Now that
all of the trees have lost their leaves, I have been spotting bird nests all over the place.
They are so well camouflaged during the spring and summer months that it has been exciting to see the
nests revealed as the leaves fell. Once I spotted the first nest, I began to notice more and more
of them on my walks, and I became interested in the different types of craftsmanship the birds
use in their construction.
Some are tight and neat while others are loose and messy. Some of
the nests are constructed out of sticks while others are made of grass. It’s amazing to me that
some of the nests are so beautiful and delicate, and that they are still so strong after having
made it through the changing seasons, high winds, rainfall and snowfall. Through my
observations I have realized that different species of birds build very different types of nests
and that each have preferred materials and locations. If you’re looking out for nests in trees in
your own backyard, be sure to check the spots where branches connect to the tree trunk. These
make sturdy bases for nests to rest on. Also be sure to look in the shrubby low bushes. Peeking
through the branches might reveal a clump of grass that upon closer observation is a nest!
Ifyou are in an urban area look up and try to find ledges and corners that are suitable platform
for birds to build their nest. Look closely at the places on buildings where the roof meets the
wall. If you see what looks like a clump of dirt, it might actually be a Barn Swallow nest. These
birds use mud and grasses to build up their nests. If you find a nest, draw a sketch or take a
photo of it so that you can try to identify what type of bird makes that type of nest. By
developing our nest observation skills in the cold months, we can better know where to look for
nests and babies in the spring and summer months. Just like I have been training my ears to
recognize different birds’ songs, I am training my eyes to see their nests. I hope you will too!