Monday, July 14, 2008

'Backyard' birds

Even though there are many species of birds now in our garden, I don't see many of their nests, since they're generally so well hidden. But I know we've had brown thrashers, cardinals, jays, towhees, and Carolina wrens nesting near the house.

Northern Cardinal nest
We have a small nest collection at the Nature Center, which illustrates some diversity in common nests, and it's fun to show kids what's happening in our nest boxes linked to webcams, or the phoebe family under the porch roof. People like to bring us nests (especially wren nests), and even though it's technically frowned upon, it doesn't seem to be a problem with common species who rebuild nests seasonally.

A friend brought me a cardinal nest recently -- the mom had abandoned it after construction and laying several eggs. It was interesting because of its twiggy character, lined by dry grasses.

A male towhee is singing loudly outside right now.

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