I’ve always admired the resourcefulness of birds when it comes to building their nests. They flit around searching for nest-building materials just like people who scour yard sales looking for the perfect treasure. Leaves, sticks, grasses, as well as manmade castaways such as plastic bags, string, and bits of fabric are some of the chosen materials. Back in the “old” days, sometimes you’d see strands of tape from an audio cassette hanging out from a woven nest.
Not only do birds have to concern themselves with construction, but site selection is critical. Just as a home buyer looks for location, location, location, so to must a bird decide where to nest. You expect to see bird’s nests in trees, bushes, eaves, and bird houses, but some birds seem overly imaginative. Here are a few of the more unique and interesting locations where I’ve seen a bird’s nest:
- Several times I’ve noticed birds nesting inside the horizontal pole that suspends a traffic light or road sign over a highway. The birds fly in and out of the pole through a small hole that was probably pre-drilled for mounting purposes but never used. It can’t be very quiet in there, but it must detract predators.
- During a storm a few years ago, the plastic end cap blew off our portable basketball net. This created an opening at the top of the vertical pole. A tufted titmouse family decided to build a nest inside. We never knew their secret spot until the babies got hungry and the chirping began in earnest. We were forced to curtail our hoops playing for a few weeks.
- One spring, a robin nested inside a potted plant hanging from our awning. Unfortunately, the bird family was disturbed every time we went in or out of the front door. The location of the nest did give us a great view of the eggs and babies though.
- More scholarly birds prefer the comfort of the alphabet as a nest site. I’ve seen nests tucked away inside the open crooks of three dimensional letters that are part of an outdoor sign, like the inside of the letter “O” in the word “STORE” mounted to the front of a building.
- Last week, I saw an active bird’s nest at the bottom of an artificial, oversized Christmas wreath that had never been taken down from the side of an apartment building after the holiday season. The birds wove their nest right into the plastic branches.
There seems to be an endless variety of places birds build their nests. I’d love to hear about the unique locations where you’ve spotted a bird’s nest. Please leave a reply below.