They build with moss, bark and thistledown. They build high and low in the nooks and crannies of the forest. They build in the spring but in the fall, with the trees bare, their hiding places are revealed. This week on one of our hikes we were reminded that fall is a great time to find those amazing nests birds work so hard to build.
The nest we found this week was right next to the trail we walk often. It was wild to think how many times we walked past and did not see it during the spring and summer.
We were happy this one was low enough that with a gentle touch we could easily bring it down to take a closer look.
The kids picked a few birds that they thought may have made the nest. One disadvantage of finding a nest in the fall is that you can't wait around for the owners to come back and tend to their nest. You can identify birds you have seen in the spring and summer, look up their nests and make your best guess based on what you know. Then wait until spring to see if you were right. We have some guess but still are not sure who made this one. I think a guide to birds' nests might just be making it's way onto our guide shelf soon.
Please keep in mind that while many birds build new nests each year there are some who come back and refurbish old nests. Please consider leaving nests found in the wild where they are both for the birds and for other nature lovers to observe and learn.
Have you had a bird nest experience? We would love to hear about it.