Sunday, April 1, 2012


song sparrow

There is evidence that some dinosaurs built primitive nests on the ground and even cared for their hatchlings there. Today many creatures besides birds—from wasps to mice to alligators—shelter their young or their eggs in nests that they construct themselves. But for variety of placement and material, and for sheer complexity of design, nothing can compare with birds’ nests. Especially among smaller birds, nests are often remarkable for their inventive use of local materials to provide support, shelter, and camouflage. The nests are tiny marvels of disposable architecture.

Swainson's Thrush The finest nests are crafted by smaller birds, however, and the majority are never reused, not even by their original builders. It seems all the more remarkable that birds should create these intricate structures for such ephemeral use. It seems ironic, too, that most of us are not legally allowed to possess these nests, even after they have been abandoned. But when we are lucky enough to find them in the wild, or see them revealed in works of photographic art like the ones reproduced here, we cannot avoid holding them and the birds that made them in absolute awe.

House Finch Text: Audubon Magazine Photos: Sharon Beals

(i have a nest obsession, myself)


Anonymous said...

Molly....Today at tennis, a little humming bird was trying to take a string out of a frayed part of the net while we were playing! Dee told us that yesterday she saw a bird taking apart a spiders web in order to use it for a nest....No wonder their nests are so interesting!

Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

I knew you were a girl after my heart! I saw some city workers trimming up trees, so I stopped and asked them if I could have all the nests in the branches they were trimming. They thought I was nuts, but they were kind enough to cut out those branches with the nests in them for me!

Julie B.

Jeni said...

wow... what a beautiful site to see. I am in love with all my birdie friends around me and have always been fascinated by their ability to make their own little home with bits and pieces of "stuff"...... they are truly special.

thank you for the wonderful post ~xxoo Jeni