N is for Nest. . .


Jenny Matlock 


I’m joining Alphabe-Thursday ~ this week’s letter assignment is the letter N.


This the first Alphabe-Thursday I’ve participated in~ I saw Sarah monkeying around last week at Hyacinths for the Soul and it looked so much fun, I wanted to join in.




 I thought it would be fun to include nest-building habits from specific birds, so I turned to a great book, Birdscaping your Garden by George Adams.


 Rose-Breasted Grosbeak: “The male often selects the nest-site, which is usually 10 to 15 feet above the ground in a fork of a deciduous tree. Both birds may share in the nest-building, constructing a loosely built structure of small sticks, fine twigs and grass, lined with rootlets and fine grasses.”






This is single cup & saucer I picked up at a consignment store, the pattern is Williamsburg Aviary by Wedgwood. I would love to have a few more pieces~ hint, hint.




 I’m not familiar with the Verdin, but was fascinated to read about its nest-building.


Verdin:  “The ball-shaped nest is surprisingly large for such a small bird, measuring abut 8 inches across. Usually placed a the end of low limb in a conspicuous position, the nest is built of up to 2000 thorny twigs, making it possibly the most labor-intensive nest of all North American birds. The thorny twigs are interlaced so that the free ends stick out from the nest, quill-like, protecting it from intruders. Coarse grass, leaves and plant stems are also used in the construction, and spiderweb is used to help bind the nest together. The resulting nest is a strong, compact structure able to withstand fierce sandstorms, well insulated and able to protect the young from desert heat.”





I’m a huge fan of Mary Carol Garrity~this is one of my favorite books of hers. I would love to take a road trip to shop at Nell Hill’s. I only wish Atchison or Kansas City were a tad closer. . .





Her book jacket reads:  “Home decorating guru Mary Carol Garrity compares her techniques for transforming her own 130-year-old Greek revival fixer-supper to that of a bird building its nest–carefully selecting and layering all components twig by twig. Garrity empowers readers to feather their own nest by developing a sense of personal style.”




Yellow Warbler:  “Nest building is mainly done by the female, though she is attended by the male. Favorite nesting sites are in moist thickets, along small streams and brooks and on the edge of swamps among alders, willows and blueberry and elderberry bushes.”



Robin:  “After laying a platform of twigs and grass, the female builds up the walls with mud and more grass. Turning round and round inside the cup, she smooths and shapes the inner walls with her breast and half-extended wings. Then she adds a lining of soft grass and perhaps a few feathers.”




 We had 3 baby robins in this nest last spring, on our gutter under the eave of our house.







Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher:  “The mated pair construct their nest together. Apart from hummingbirds’ nest, this is the daintiest nest in the woodlands. A cup-shaped nest of plant fiber bound together with spiderweb is lined with bark strips, fine grass and feathers. Lichen is fastened to the outside of the nest with spiderweb or caterpillar silk, giving the nest the appearance of a lichen-covered knot on a limb.”








This bird’s nest was made by my dear friend, Carolyn, floral designer extraordinaire. I love the little floral and feather embellishments.




The Cardinal:  “The male follows the female while she constructs the nest, often singing to her in his most melodious voice. (don’t you love that?) Popular nest sites include dense thickets, blackberry or gooseberry bushes, rose canes or honeysuckle vines and saplings of hackberry, elm, hawthorn or locust. The nest is a loosely built , bulky bowl-shaped structure of twigs, shredded bark, weed stems and grass rootlets, lined with finer grasses and hair.”




Northern Oriole:  “The Baltimore oriole’s nest is probably the most beautiful of all North American bird nests. The nest is a well-woven, deep, silvery pouch suspended  by the rim from the end of long, drooping branches. The nest is woven of plant fibers, string, cloth and hair. Many people enjoy supplying the birds with short lengths of string or yarn.”




I thought I’d share these magazines I picked up at a flea market for my Vintage Thursday Thingie~  This one is dated 1903. Birds and Nature was a 48 page Monthy available for $1.50 a year.



  “A magazine devoted to nature, and illustrated by colored photography. It is the only periodical in the world that publishes pictures of birds, animals, insects, flowers, plants, etc. in natural colors. Eight full-page plates each month.”








We cleaned out our Purple Martin house in February, anxiously awaiting the Martins’ return. In the past couple of years, they have had to cohabitate with nesting sparrows. The martins have been circling it for a week or two now. The sparrows beat them to the punch again this year. Hopefully, they’ll reside together and ultimately run the sparrows off. We were trying to shoo the sparrows away, and toss their nest  out, but I didn’t have the heart since it already had eggs in it.




Here’s to feathering your nest, twig by twig!


Be sure to stop by Jenny Matlock’s Aphabe-Thursday for more alphabet fun  &  visit Suzanne @ Colorado Lady ~ Vintage Thingie Thursday for more vintage treasures.


  37 comments for “Nesting

  1. Carolyn
    April 21, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    What a nice surprise while viewing your latest post, I noticed a familiar nest. I am happy that you are still enjoying it. As usual the photos are stunning. Thanks for sharing such interesting info/

  2. April 21, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Your photographs are always pure “eye candy”! Thanks for much pleasure.

  3. April 21, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Lovely, lovely, lovely! I love those photos of the eggs!

  4. April 21, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    I love seeing birds nests. It’s just amazing to me how the birds build them. We used to have cardinals come every year and a build a nest in our tall evergreen. We always thought it must be the same ones. Then one year they didn’t come and that was it. I don’t know if they died or something scared them off from coming back. Great N post. Oh, and I love that big bird house. It must be a lot of fun to watch.

  5. April 21, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Very interesting and informative post. Your photographs are wonderful and your friend built a beautiful nest. Those old magazines are a treasure. Welcome to class. I bet Miss Jenny picks you to be line leader. The new kid always gets to be line leader…sigh.

  6. deb
    April 21, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Lovely post. Never can get enough birds and eggs and nests!!

  7. CC
    April 21, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Such a lovely,wonderful,informative post. I truly enjoyed it and will look forward to more. Happy VTT..have a wonderful weekend.

  8. April 21, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    What a great post, but I have to say, I love that cup and saucer, and I too would love to find a few pieces of these…these are so sweet. Have a great VTT!

  9. April 21, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    What a beautiful and interesting post, I adore that cup and saucer! Happy VTT!

  10. April 21, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    What a pretty post. I love the pictures from the book you added.

  11. April 22, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Your pictures are gorgeous. Welcome to Mrs. Matlock’s class. Everyone is so very nice!

  12. April 22, 2010 at 12:25 am

    These pictures are so beautiful and I love the little stories that go with each image. Gorgeous!

    Best wishes,

  13. April 22, 2010 at 12:34 am

    beautiful photos. you took a lot of time on this. thanks for sharing!

  14. Jo
    April 22, 2010 at 1:03 am

    What a wonderful “N” post. I loved the photography, love your nests … and the book …. and all of the information!!!

  15. Pondside
    April 22, 2010 at 1:58 am

    What a lovely post this was! I’ve always loved the phrase ‘feathering the nest’, so was drawn to the entire theme. Beautiful photos.

  16. April 22, 2010 at 2:57 am

    Lovely pictures! We love watching birds in our yard and garden, but your examples are quite exotic to us. The books and magazines are great, too.

  17. PJ
    April 22, 2010 at 4:53 am

    This was a feast for the eyes; each photo so thoughtfully composed. I’m partial to the nest your friend, Carol, made!

  18. JDanilel4's Mom
    April 22, 2010 at 6:10 am

    All your nesting pictures are awesome! What a fun post!

  19. April 22, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Love your nests, love the teacup and thanks for the information on the birds. Very interesting post. The eggs are lovely; they look real. There is a little housefinch in a tree outside my window chirping. I want to get a photo but he moves whenever I get the camera ready to go!

  20. April 22, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Wow, this was a beautiful and informative post! I would love to see an oriole’s nest, after you described how beautiful they are. I just started putting out my oriole feeder, and I hope to see some any day now. You’re so lucky to have purple martins! I bought a big old martin house at a flea market, just because it was so pretty. I knew I wouldn’t attract any purple martins, but I did get a swarm of bees to make it their home! Sadly, we had to throw it away!
    Happy VTT!

  21. April 22, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Welcome to class!

    What a lovely “N” post you have.

    Your photos, your china, the old books, everything.

    Since you seem to know so much about birds I’m wondering if any of the photos shown are attracted to nyctanthous flowers?

    I am making it a point to use at least one “N” word from my obscure word dictionary in my comments.

    Because that’s what teachers do.

    I think.

    Thank you for participating. This is, indeed, a very, very Nice post!


    And since you are new to class I’m wondering if you would like to be Line Leader for the rest of the week!?!

  22. Laura
    April 22, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Love all of this – and thanks for the tip on what to get you for your birthday – Be watching the Mail! Have a great Thursday – LL

  23. April 22, 2010 at 11:49 am

    totally gorgeous nest pics :D

  24. April 22, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    A Simply beautiful post!! love all the images and info. What’s not to love about that sweet birdie teacup? gorgeous nests and eggs. Haven’t seen any eggs around our place this spring.

  25. April 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Wow, I sure learned a lot! I love how the china matched the book. Great pictures, and just so well done! Welcome to the class, we have a lot of fun.

  26. Ann
    April 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    I love your nesting post. I adore birds also. The brown Williamsburg dish is gorgeous. I haven’t seen these anywhere I’ve been thrifting. Well I do live in Kansas City and have been to Atchison several times. The Nells Hill store in Atchison is much more quaint than the one in KC. The one here specializes really in big furniture. She also had a open house a few years ago in Atchison and I went on a tour of her house. Atchison is a really neat little town and it’s a college town. Enjoy all your pretties. Ann

  27. April 22, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Oh, I loved this post! Birds and nests are among my favorite things, thanks for a lovely N post :) .

  28. April 22, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Spectacular post…you are after my bird lovin heart:-) The illustrations in the book are to die for, and your photographs are so professional. I would love to know what camera equipment you use. Peace and Blessed Earth Day

  29. April 22, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Beautiful pictures and I love the teacup. By the way, I ordered the Uwharrie settee. Thanks for the info!

  30. April 22, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    You might have to st up new quarters for your martins. I don’t know a thing about birds but maybe that would help. I agree with the others. Your pictures are lovely.

  31. April 22, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    What a great choice for your N post. Very informative too I might add. I love the photographs included with your post. The little eggs look so delicate and lovely.

  32. April 22, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Fabulous post! Love, love, love Mary Nell’s books, but I agree this one is a favorite. Great photos and information. Thank you for doing this one! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us for Food for Thought. I hope I can get mine pulled together. :-)

  33. April 22, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    I’m a nest collector. When I see an abandoned one, I always bring it home.

  34. April 23, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Thanks everyone for your comments! I’m especially pleased to receive an A+ from my teacher :-) Update to the martins~ a pair have taken up residence in an apartment, so maybe more will join! We’ve seen several circling around the dock and hovering, so hopefully so!

  35. April 23, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    I am glad you joined it….I love birds, always have and really enjoyed this post about nests…..I love the teacup and saucer too…hope your hints work!

  36. April 24, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    What a lovely and informative post– I’ve made my husband stop what he is doing so I can read bits of it to him!

  37. Kathy
    April 25, 2010 at 8:20 am

    What a wonderful N post! Your photographs are beautiful, and I loved reading about all the different types of nests. Fascinating!

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