Posts Tagged 'nests'

Old Nests

The nesting season is already upon us, especially for such early nesters as owls, some raptors, doves. So, here’s one last look at some of the previous year’s nest. These have all made it through the winter, in one form or another. Above, the rough pottery suggests American Robins, who line the inside of their nests with mud.It’s remarkable that these dangling woven bags made by Baltimore Orioles manage to hold eggs, adults, and squirmy youngsters. And then make it through the winter. More and more artificial fibers (rope, fishing line, ribbon) turn up in these things: will some be re-purposed this year? Not that this is necessarily a good idea! Fishing line, for instance, can easily choke nestlings. (On this note: I gather well-meaning people are giving various fibers to the birds, thinking this is a good idea: it isn’t.)Very twiggy in a shrub. Mockingbirds?About two feet above the water, this one looks brand new. Red-winged Blackbird? Another woven affair, about fifteen feet up in a maple. Perhaps the product of one of the locally breeding vireo species.

Rebecca Solnit on the problem with heroes.


Underneath a pine, probably dislodged by the fierce rain of the day before, summer’s nest. Quite small, about 3.25″ across, but certainly not the smallest I’ve ever seen. That would be the absurdly tiny, lichen-camouflaged nest of the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. This is very elegantly made of grasses. Perhaps Chipping Sparrow? A little small for the average Chipping nest’s diameter, according to Peterson’s Field Guide to Birds’ Nests, but otherwise suggestive. No horse, human, or other animal hair lining it, however.

(Our MetroCards are 5.5 x8.5 cm.)


A quick reminder that possession of birds, feathers, eggs, and nests are all prohibited by a law celebrating its centenary, and which the Trumphooligans are undermining to profit their oligarchs and rabid kill-it-all supporters.

Speaking of nasty nest-eggs, we now have three generations of Trump family tax fraud and corruption.

The Tall One

The tallest trees here in the east are usually Tuliptrees (Liriodendron tulipifera), sometimes also called Yellow Populars. The tallest tree in Green-Wood Cemetery is one. According to their new map, “Alive at Green-Wood,” it’s 110 feet tall. This is the “toy camera” setting of my camera, for a change of pace. Samuel Morse’s remains are found nearby. Even closer is a Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) nest, hung with as much care as a Christmas stocking in a poem.

FYI: Should special counsel Robert Mueller be purged, there are rallies planned around the nation.

1843 All Over Again

IMG_0674Green-Wood Cemetery is large, its paths many. Recently I came across this and remembered I’d been here last May, but not since. The remains of the nest are still relatively protected. Robins will sometimes use old nests to build new nests atop of, so perhaps this coming May I’ll remember to return again and see if this nook is being used again. Note also the whitewash; nestlings know to aim away from the nest, but not evidently the difference between the wild blue and the wall.

Woven Nests

Probably the most common bird nest come across is the American Robin’s, which is big for a song bird’s, and characteristically made with a mud base and a lining of grasses. Of course, birds don’t want you, or any other predator, to find their nests, so the leafless season is best for discovering them. Of course, months after being abandoned, nests are usually in a bedraggled way, and many don’t survive the winter. But this mild winter seems to have been gentle on last spring’s nests. I found these three woven cups on Nantucket last week. Help me to identify them.
The next three are different views of the same nest:Here’s one that had been recycled by another animal, probably a mouse, as a place to cache food.

Field Notes: Nesting

It’s breeding season. Canada geese in Green-Wood and Jamaica Bay have made their nests right next to paths and roads; they are becoming entirely too familiar with the most dangerous biped. In Prospect Park, red tailed hawks, mourning doves and robins are already feeding their hungry babies.
Young robins waiting their next mouthful.
Double-decker. Last year’s nest provides a base for this year’s.

Other robins are still incubating eggs. I walked by a spot the other day that I’ve passed a dozen times in the last month, and only this time noticed that there was a robin’s nest there, at eye-level and well within hand’s reach. One of the birds was there, so I kept my distance. Still other species are only now building their nests: I watched a warbling vireo pair working on their woven cup the other day high in a pin oak. The orioles, recently arrived, should be working on theirs as well. Last year, I watched a female picking at rope tied to a fence for material. Their hanging nests, like all nests, are easier see after the fact, when the leaves have fallen, and look like softballs that have lost their covering.
Now this is curious. It’s roughly the size of an American football and entered from the side. It’s a house sparrow house. Now, most of our house sparrows, superbly adjusted to the city, nest in things like street lamps (both the lamp housing and the cross tubes), and under air-conditioners, and, in brownstone Brooklyn, the cornices, arches, etc., but in the “wild” they build these rather large woven structures.

House sparrows, a Eurasian species, were first successfully introduced to the Americas in 1853 here in Brooklyn, in Green-Wood Cemetery.


Bookmark and Share

Join 685 other subscribers
Nature Blog Network