By Angela

The Building of a Nest

Summer is a hard time of the year for me since my tremors and weakness on my L-side tend to get worse when it is hot outside. If I want to accomplish anything outside, I have to do it early in the morning before it heats up or later in the day when things have cooled off. Because of these challenges, it is hard to find a reason for going outside and getting at least some kind of exercise.

To motivate me to go outside, I purchased a bluebird nesting box. The really cool thing about this box was that it had a wooden door on the side which could be opened up. When opened, there was a piece of plexiglass which allowed a person to look into the box without touching the birds or nest. The box was located about 40 feet from the house. I would spend time observing birds as I sat on a lawn chair by the back door looking around the yard.

One day I noticed a quick fluttering of wings under the picnic table. It was a very small bird. It would then sit on top of the picnic table with something white in its beak and then fly into the nesting box. Later in the day, I peaked into the box. There were several twigs inside that seemed to be held together with little white balls of spider webs! I quickly did a search on the internet to find out what kind of birds collect spider webs as part of their nesting materials.

At first I thought it was a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. This bird and others that visited my backyard and feeders became the focus of a short story I started to write. Someday soon when I finish the ending, I would like to see if I can get it illustrated and published.

When I talked to my friend who was the owner of the Wildbirds Unlimited Store near me, he told me that the bird was actually a Wren. Though he said that he had never heard of them using spider webs as part of their nests. An interesting piece of information I learned about Wrens, is that the male Wren migrates to the area where they do their nest building before the female. He will start building several nests, maybe about seven, and proudly shows her his handiwork. She will choose one of them as their nest, and proceed to go about tearing it apart and re-building it the way she wants it. Does that sound familiar???

Here are some pictures of the nest building process. The only frustrating thing was that the Wrens built their nest so deep, that I was not able to see the eggs or even the baby birds once they hatched. The only time I saw the babies was when they left the nest!

© Angela Cramer, 2008

Tags: backyard nature, photography, attracting birds and other creatures, hobbies for the handicapped, therapeutic activities


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