It has always amazed me that no one ever teaches a bird how to build a nest. They just know how to build them to suit their circumstance.
This year in the birdhouse on our porch, instead of our usual House Wrens, we got some slightly unwelcome guests, House Sparrows. They’re not native and have been known to kill other birds’ babies to get a nesting cavity. After the babies fledged we decided to take down the birdhouse for a while to encourage the sparrows to move on. The fact that there were bugs crawling around on the birdhouse made us decide to clean it.
This situation allowed us to examine one of nature’s miracles – the bird nest.
This is the front opening of the nest. Notice that along with twigs and grass there is twine, feathers, dryer fuzz, and what looks like the fluff you would find in a stuffed toy. I especially like the wee lone cardinal feather in front.
This small wee bird house, that clearly needs more than being zapped with the jet stream from the hose, was built and painted by my son from a kit about 11-ish years ago. By his choice it was hung on the edge of the overhang of our front porch. We told him it was probably too busy on the porch for birds to want to nest there. But he insisted it was the perfect spot. The House Wrens and the Carolina Wrens agreed and not once since it was hung has it ever stood empty. We get at least one, but usually two broods a summer.
This is some of the yucky crawly stuff that was in the nest. The black specks are some kind of wee fly. There were loads of those. This is the first year we’ve seen crawly stuff all over the birdhouse. Eewww.
This is the back of nest. Look at all those different kinds of feathers! Notice, also, how the nest was built to line the entire box. We don’t normally see this. I have to wonder if our long, wet, and cold spring had something to do with the heavy-duty construction. And the bug issue. The black specs are those little flies.
A close up of the different kinds of feathers,
More string and twine and a wide variety of twigs and grass.
Inside the nest shows more of the white stuffing along with some string. The nest must have been warm and cozy. It boggles the mind to think of all the trips those poor parents had to make in order to build a nest of these proportions!
Isn’t Mother Nature amazing!