Seeing a bird’s nest abandoned in a tree or lying on the ground evokes so many pleasurable feelings. As a child, finding a bird’s nest was similar to finding a beautiful treasure. I would rush to pick it up, carry it home and place it on my dresser. I was always fascinated by things in nature…rocks, leaves, shells, bird nests, bird feathers, driftwood….they were all precious objects that gave me pleasure in how they looked or how they felt in my hands and my imagination would fly with the prospect of what stories they could tell if they only could.
The feather soared high in the sky helping propel a bird in its daily chore of searching and securing food. It perched in the tops of trees and scanned the panoramic landscape. It was slipped between the beak of the bird as it preened. The nest held eggs that ultimately hatched into babies that grew into birds who then abandoned the nest since it had served it’s purpose.
Examining the nest can be an interesting activity.The kinds of materials used to build the nest can sometimes give us hints as to the species of bird that constructed it. A cracked flower pot turned on its side inside a basket on the front porch makes an ideal nesting spot in the eyes of a Carolina Wren. An old boot, floppy hat, or any type of container may prove to be the chosen spot for a wren’s nest. Male and female will gather sticks, leaves, twigs, string, roots, plastic, hay and build a messy nest that tunnels down and to the side. She may line the tunnel and the inside of the nest with grass, moss, dried leaves or feathers. Just imagine how many trips they must make to construct this fine piece of architecture. The Carolina Wren that I discovered one day on the front porch of a country farmhouse had done just that. I could hear tiny peeps of begging baby birds and their parents would flit in and out constantly delivering food for them, totally undisturbed by my near-by presence. Looking into the nest, I could barely see a few tiny beaks. These babies successfully fledged and the nest was abandoned. This is not always the case though. Many times the Carolina Wren makes a bad choice in nest location making it vulnerable to predators…cats, raccoons or possums.
That old cracked flower pot had been recycled by a small Carolina Wren. I guess beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder and “This Old Pot or This Old Boot” was just fine for her “This Ole House”..
Happy bird searching!!!