I saw it in the bare grove of small alders a few weeks back
and put it down to an old robins nest.
Last week I looked a little closer at it and
my curiosity got the better of me.
Ever so gently I bent the skinny tree down so I
could reach for it.
And there it was...this beautiful, dry, stacked pile of tiny twigs.
A winter treasure.
A birds nest.
I tucked it in my arms and gingerly carried it home
to gaze upon its magnificent structure...
As far as I could research in my books of birds nests,
it's probably a Black headed Grosbeaks...
It's about 7" high and there is no mud or moisture used...
It was sitting in the fork of the tree, perched ever so carefully.
The bottom 6 and a half inches is made of the more coarse
twigs and then in the cup of the nest it's lined with
delicate roots and grasses...
When collecting a nest I only do it in the winter and knowing that almost
all songbirds make new nests in the spring as part of the mating ritual.
These old nests are not used again in the spring nesting season.
Some may make several before they decide on the perfect one.
Larger birds like crows, ravens, jays and birds of prey,
use the same nest for several years and also use them to teach
young birds how its done.
Crows and ravens spend 2 or 3 years learning before they go off on their own.
So I sit and marvel at the ingenuity and engineering that
goes into the making of a nest...
...and all done with just a beak and tiny feet.