Bird Nests

Bird Nests

I’ve always enjoyed the birds around our house. During the winter I help them out by giving them bird seed, but during the summer there’s abundant food for them to find. I do though help them w/ their nest mostly by providing them w/ things they’d need.

Years ago we spent a lot of time @ our barn. One year I saw in a tree next to the barn a very neat nest. It belonged to a Baltimore Oriole (a beautiful bright orange & black bird) & was made out of horse hair w/ very intricate weaving. It had a hole @ the top.

We watched the nest daily, seeing the birds going in & out of the nest feeding their babies. Then one day we saw little birds popping their heads out of the top, & then they were gone.
The following year we thought we’d help them out by providing convenient hair. We had a pony w/ white tail hairs & after combing it we put that hair on the ground near the tree. We were thrilled to see a white nest being built.

For years we’ve also helped Bluebirds by providing them w/ nest boxes. They do best w/ certain sizes plus having a correct entrance hole. Of course they’ll also build in deep cracks of trees too, but it’s easy to attract them w/ the boxes. You can build these (patterns can be found on the Internet) or find them in stores too. Some can be mounted on the side of trees, but they’ll either lose their eggs or babies because of being easily accessed by snakes or raccoons. I’ve had better luck mounting their box on top of a metal pole & also adding an extension to their entrance. This way a raccoon can jump up to the box but can’t touch either the eggs or babies. I also grease the pole to keep snakes from climbing it.

One bird that causes them a problem because they also love the nest box is the Sparrow. They’re very aggressive & can also be mean. One year the Bluebirds got the box first, built their nest, laid eggs which hatched. Then the Sparrows decided they wanted it. They build a ratty nest out of grass & “other stuff” & decided to put all of their nesting material on top of the Bluebird babies. Fortunately we checked the nest box daily & found this, removing their nesting & exposing the Bluebird babies again, which were still alive. Their parents were there to also tend to them. In early spring we are constantly taking the Sparrow nest out of the Bluebird house. They can build it fast too & if you’re good @ removing their nest, they’ll finally give up.
One thing that keeps Sparrows in the area during the summer is feeding bird seed. Keep your bird seed for winter when birds have trouble finding food & really need it.
If you really enjoy birds there are books that will let you hear what a specific bird sounds like, where they like to build their nest, & what the nest looks like.
Find out what birds are in your area & maybe in the spring you can help them out by providing the things they’d need for their nesting. It’s very rewarding.