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  • Tricia Edgar

Noticing Nests


Photo by Ian Baldwin on Unsplash


Do you know what a nest looks like? You might think that you do, but in fact nests are very diverse, just like the birds that build them. Every species brings different tools to the job.


A crow's nest is a loosely-woven group of sticks. Crows carry these sticks in their beak.


A robin's nest is made out of smaller materials such as grasses and even string, often stuck together with mud in the middle. If you see a robin with a line of mud on its chest, you know that it is making its nest. It presses its chest against the inner part of the nest to make it firm and rounded.


A bushtit's nest looks a lot like a pile of moss in a tree. This is great camouflage for the parents and babies!


A hummingbird's nest is tiny and made up of lichen, moss, and spiderwebs. Hummingbirds are so tiny that they can be architects with spiderwebs!


A pileated woodpecker's nest looks like a hole in a tree! Sometimes you can hear the woodpecker inside excavating the nest hole, called a cavity. Woodpeckers use their powerful beaks to look for food in trees, drum to find a mate, and excavate nest holes.


Today, go looking for nests and for signs of birds with mud, sticks, and other items in their beaks! If you'd like to look more closely at birds' nests, Explore.org has some great webcams of birds on their nests.

Here is an eagle.

Here is an osprey. Here is a hummingbird.


Enjoy finding some nests today!

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