N is for Nest. . .
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.