With spring in full swing, I’m noticing so many nests! How about you?
We’re seeing mama birds feeding their hatchings and nestlings cozy in their nests.
"Hatchlings" are newborn birds, while "nestlings" are a bit older, but still cannot perch or walk. Make sure to scroll down for photos of this in action at the end of this post.
I wonder what signs of spring bird activities you and your little ones can find as you’re outside this week.
Sometimes we see cracked eggshells of various colors on the ground. If you see this, can you take a moment to be a wildlife detective with your child and look up to find from where that might have fallen? There is almost always a nest nearby.
Keeping your eyes open for nests built in and around your home as well can be exciting!
Birds are clever and very strategic about where they build their nests. Even with the same type of bird, nests can have various purposes and take different forms.
For instance, Wrens often build multiple nests in various locations. Their first (and main nest) could take about a week to build, but the male and female build “back up” nests that might just take a few days to construct. One of the pair stays with the nest while the other gathers material.
Every year, we have Wrens build nests between our tree house window screens and shutters out in the woods.
The other day, I tried to get my dog’s leash out of the shoe bag where we keep it in the garage and couldn’t because a Wren couple had built a lovely nest on top of it. One of the Wrens gathers more supplies while the other stays with the nest that is “under construction”.
I soon noticed they were stashing their building materials in the shoe cubby above the nest they were weaving- like a hardware store!
If you look very closely below, you'll see (left & center) a horizontal white line- that is the mama Wren's white stripe above her right eye. She was keeping her eye on me so I didn't come too close!
Here is a close-up of the nest once she flew out of it.
There are often nests in our kayak, which is suspended from the ceiling of our garage- opportunistic builders they are!
Another type of bird wove part of our front door wreath into a nest that I only just noticed. They took the twigs, still attached to wreath, bent and wove them into a nest, without breaking one and in such a way that it was not even detected— a wonder, indeed!
In the first photo- can you even notice where it might be?
It is flat on the back side so it could sit against the door without being detected.
It can be fascinating to see what materials they use to hold their nests together....this one pulled out all the stops! ;)
Below is a Robin's nest that was in our Crab Apple Tree by our front door.
The below photos were taken by my children from one of their windows- there is a bit of a glare.
Hatchlings (a little smooshed looking)- everyone squeezes in the nest while they continue to grow:
Mama Robin perched on the back side of the nest, feeding them with a worm:
Can you and your little one be nest detectives this week?
As you go about your day in the city, suburbs or country alike, keep your eyes open, for you just never know where these parents will decide to build their homes.
Have fun building memories while you go on mini adventures, explore, discover and wonder together!