Songo Blue Skies

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Year of the Nests: Part 1

This has been quite a Spring/Summer for me. Why is that, you might ask? I have stumbled upon so many bird nests; some being built by their owners, while others were occupied already. It got ridiculous and seemed like everywhere I turned, there was another nest.

This all started on a visit to Concord, NH in May. After spending several days with a dear childhood friend, I thought I'd do a little birding around the area before I left. In a grassy habitat I sat down on a slight incline to see what was around. I soon saw a couple of Prairie Warblers and heard a Chestnut sided Warbler nearby.  Then I noticed a Prairie Warbler coming and going from a clump of tallish leafed stalks. I watched for a bit but tried not to stare at the spot and scare her off. 


I walked around and up on the hill behind, to see if I could see where she was going in the clump. With some persistence and sitting low I saw her. When she flew off in search of more nesting material, I walked a little closer and was finally able to see it. I have a long zoom lens and I took a picture and turned my attention to finding the Chestnut-Sided Warbler, which I eventually found.

Prairie Warbler Nest about 1 foot off the ground

That was amazing. 

Next, I was in West Brookfield, MA visiting my college room mate and her sister. There was a Wildlife Management Area on some former farmland about a mile from her house. It was a large expanse of fields that was cut through the middle by a winding stream. I found Bobolinks, Common Yellowthroat Warblers, many Yellow Warblers, Eastern Kingbirds, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Tree Swallows, Chickadees, Song Sparrows, Baltimore Orioles and Warbling Vireos. The last two I watched working on their nests. Along the stream there were low thickets and one large tree. On a branch over the stream a Baltimore Oriole's nest was being built. Look at the difference in leaf-out in one weeks time.
May 19, 2016

May 26, 2016

I found another nest in this same tree but near the top; a Warbling Vireo's nest.

Here the Warbling Vireo is collecting some pussy-willow down to line its nest.

I saw two more nests at this sight but I did not see the occupants and therefore could not identify. If anyone knows which birds might own these two nests let me know. The one on the left kind of looks like an Eastern Kingbird's nest but I think it is too low for them.

I wasn't alone while I was exploring this site. As I looked into the stream below the thicket I heard this guttural 'growl' behind me. Now that scared the be-jeebers out of me! I had no idea what could be behind me. I slowly turned around and was relieved to find this fellow.

Black Australorp Rooster - His feathers were beautiful in the sun light
There were a couple of houses in the distance in either direction and I assumed he belonged to one of those. He was a faithful companion, in that every time I went to this area, he joined me and followed me on my walk. Truth be told he was probably looking for food...

Coming Up
Part 2 - Nests found at Doodletown, NY with The Brooklyn Bird Club.
Part 3 - Watching a Green Heron nest: from nest building to fledgling and after.

Hope you'll come back to read further.