Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Nest Time

Nest Time

This is the time of year when birds get busy. One friend told me about a robin building a nest on her front porch. Another friend described mourning doves at her house. And I’ve seen finches flitting in and out of our forsythia bush with branches in their beaks.

Spring is the ideal time for birds to breed. It provides accommodating weather, seeds from sprouting plants, worms. The trees leaf out to offer hidden nesting places.  

The Swallow here was seen at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum in Philadelphia. There was a flurry of birds, mating couples flitting back and forth from man-made birdhouses in the water. It seemed frenetic at times but there was no doubt that all that activity had a purpose. Soon there will be eggs and then nestlings and the chain of life will continue.

People make nests, too, at least symbolically, where we can feel comfortable and raise our children. Like the birds, we try to keep our little ones safe and well fed until they are ready to be independent and find their own way in life.

Unfortunately, in today’s difficult world, that isn’t always a given. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could count on our nests to be the places they are meant to be?

An overview of nest info and be sure to click on the nesting birds link: 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Best Nest

The Best Nest

There are lots of signs of Spring; crocuses and daffodils pop up everywhere, bare tree limbs hint at the color of the leaves to come, robins scuttle around lawns looking for the choicest worms. Geese make a U-turn and head back north.

Three years ago I noticed a couple of geese outside of a shopping center. I wondered if they were lost. They seemed to be scouting around looking for something, which I thought might be the rest of their flock. After a few days they had settled onto a garden display and it looked as if they were making a nest. The landscapers delayed planting until the geese left.

Last year they came back and there was no doubt about what they were doing – they were building a nest in the same garden display. A young boy on his way to the Little Gym next door looked as if he wanted to give chase but the nesting female was being guarded by a mate who didn’t look intimidated at all. The boy’s mother hustled him away.

This year there was an official sign to welcome the geese and to keep shoppers away. The geese definitely appeared to be at home.

I wonder why the geese chose such an unlikely place to start their family. Cars are constantly driving close by. People are walking back and forth all day right next to the nest. What am I missing about the appeal of the place?

I discovered that birds often nest in the strangest places. A friend once told me that she had sparrows nesting in a basket at her front entrance. Who’s to say that an unusual spot isn’t the best. Don’t we all live in our own individual spaces? The bird parents take care of their young like any good parents, regardless of the neighborhood. We can be good neighbors to them as we are to the people we live near. 

Facts about geese nesting:

Birds nest in the strangest places: