Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Building a Bird Nest 101

When you think of a bird's nest, you probably imagine a beautiful little work of art consisting of delicate twigs and vines and bits of moss diligently collected by the mama and daddy birds, tightly woven and neatly bound together to form a safe nest in which to raise their new babies ... right? Well, I've discovered that not all bird nests look like this one:

Some nests look like the busy little mama and daddy birds could have used a few lessons in nest-building before they started working on their nest. The little house wrens (I think) that built this nest on top of a column on our porch are a case in point. Just look at the results of all their hard work:

Is that not the messiest bird nest you've ever seen!

And they couldn't have picked a worst spot for it ... under our porch where we spend a lot of time (when it's not so hot).

This is the fourth time they've built a nest on top of that column. The first three nests either fell apart or were blown down, and they finally abandoned them. I thought they had learned a lesson, but I guess they thought they would give it one more try.

You've got to give them an A for effort and diligence, at least, but I don't think they'll ever get more than a C- for aesthetics, bless their little hearts.

If this nest holds together long enough for the wrens to have babies, I will keep you posted. However, having experienced the dubious pleasure of birds building a nest in a basket on my front door once, I have to admit that I have mixed emotions about them raising their babies above my rocking chair on the porch.


Stacey said...

They do frequently pick the spot where we would least want them to build. Have you ever had those swallows that build the mud and stick nests? Oh they make a mess but they are so cute!!

Deb said...

I know I've seen some nests and wondered how they ever survived...hope your little wrens nest makes it through...

racheld said...

That sweet persistence and the determination to get that house built in time---you just gotta admire that tiny, tiny drive and ambition.

Nesting is one of the primal instincts of us all, and if those birds could see MY nest at the moment, they'd feel like wee Frank Lloyd Wrights!

Beautiful pear tree lane said...

So enjoyed this post Janie, I have had a few, not so pleasant experiences with barn swallows on our porch. They would try and attack us every time we went out side. We finally bought an artificial owl and hung it on the porch, and it sure worked for
However I found it vary interesting that your wrens would build such a messy nest. Maybe they waited until the last minute and were in a hurry. lol

I also went back and looked at some of your previous posts, and enjoyed them so much. You have such a gift and talent for photography. Absolutely stunning photos. Thanks for sharing this talent with us.
Enjoy your week and stay cool.

Tonja said...

It just amazes me to see a bird's nest. There have been some that have fallen from the tops of columns around here, too. I love to look at it and see things I recognize from around the yard.

Just a note to anyone who wants to try to keep one that is empty. Take it and put it on a covered cookie sheet...then bake in a very low oven for several hours. This will kill any bugs or bcteria that are nestled in the nest.

Loui♥ said...

Hi Janie..
thanks for visiting my Colorado home much as I adore my beautiful Gulf of Mexico and Florida..thought I give everyone a break from my usual stuff..
yes.. the Columbines are mine..
the watery pics were taken by a friend of mine..
columbines are a favorite of mine..
have oodles and oodles of them..
contrary to popular belief..Colorado does get happens to be a cooler day.. already 75 degrees ..up from 56 at 6am..yesterday's high was 96, today's is forecast to be in the 80's.. but without so much is very pleasant..
warm sandy hugs..

The Quintessential Magpie said...

They are so sweet, Janie! And I hope this time they make it!


Sheila :-)

Sheila (TCW) said...

Awww. How cute. I find birds' nests amazing.