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What kind of bird built this nest?

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What kind of bird built this nest?

Post  hammock gal on 6/26/2018, 3:39 pm

With my best friend's illness, I admit I've been very distracted from a lot of what's going on around me, so I was quite surprised to notice this bird's nest in the wreath on my front porch the other day. I don't hear any baby birds, and I can't see anything inside of the nest. Neither have I noticed any bird activity lately in that area. I have had nests in my Christmas wreaths before, but usually sparrows. This nest is very different. It's not a typical nest shape, and it's made of lots of "fuzzy" and "shaggy" stuff, like skeletonized leaves and moss. The opening is on the side, making it even harder to see into the nest. Could I have missed everything, nest building, eggs, hatching, fledging...the works? Or maybe it was built and abandoned before any eggs were laid? Here you can see the wreath, next to the front door, and sideways for some reason, under the overhang of the front porch. Next, a bit closer, you can see the nest, next to the decorative one that is part of the wreath, and that has been pushed out of the way by the nest that the birds built. Next is a pic from the side, showing the opening. And last, is a close up, showing the nesting matetials. Does this kind of nest look familiar to anyone?




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Re: What kind of bird built this nest?

Post  sanderson on 6/26/2018, 4:27 pm

Wren?

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Re: What kind of bird built this nest?

Post  hammock gal on 6/26/2018, 6:12 pm

@sanderson wrote:Wren?

Well, there are certainly enough of them around, although none of the pictures I found of their nests are as raggedy and disorganized as this one. I did find this about wrens.
"The House Wren is a fierce competitor for nest holes. They will harass and peck at much larger birds, sometimes dragging eggs and young out of a nest site they want – even occasionally killing adult birds." And it's interesting that the fake eggs in the fake nest, have holes poked in them as if someone was trying to eliminate any competition.
And then, there's this about their nests.
"Nest Description
House Wrens pile twigs into the cavities they choose to nest in, either to make a bed on which to build a soft-lined cup, or sometimes mounded up into a barrier between nest and entrance, seemingly to protect the nest from cold weather, predators, or cowbirds. The cup itself is built into a depression in the twigs and lined with just a few grams (less than 0.25 oz) of feathers, grasses and other plant material, animal hair, spider egg sacs, string, snakeskin, and discarded plastic." I'm not able to see any twigs at all, and the amount of stuff making up the nest is enormous. It's about 8 inches across. If it weren't for the fact that the wreath is hanging on the side of the house, I'd almost think it was an animal's doing rather than a bird. I'll probably leave it for a while longer to make sure no one is coming back to it.
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Re: What kind of bird built this nest?

Post  RJARPCGP on 6/26/2018, 7:46 pm

@hammock gal wrote:I have had nests in my Christmas wreaths before, but usually sparrows. This nest is very different. It's not a typical nest shape, and it's made of lots of "fuzzy" and "shaggy" stuff, like skeletonized leaves and moss. The opening is on the side, making it even harder to see into the nest.




Red flag! I suspect a particular kind of vermin, which is responsible for the North American strains of hantavirus! (Looking at you, deer mouse/white-footed mouse!)

And with eggs, I suspect a mouse stole the nest, if you don't see what looks like an adult bird coming to the nest.

I don't like the messy description, for the above! (Not because you said that, but because of possibly virus-laden vermin!)
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Re: What kind of bird built this nest?

Post  sanderson on 6/26/2018, 9:26 pm

I thought deer mice looked for more secluded areas. How would they easily climb up the horizontal siding? There should be rub marks. I'm hoping the birds just abandoned the nest because of human activity. ??

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Re: What kind of bird built this nest?

Post  hammock gal on 6/27/2018, 8:15 am

RJARPCGP, the siding is vinyl, so I'd be surprised if mice could get up there, I think it would be too slippery for them. Although, I've seen them get to places I'd never believe was possible!  That being said, it still doesn't look like any bird's nest I've ever seen. And I know that some birds build nests with the opening on the side, but I think those are usually the hanging type of nest. It's a mystery. Now I'm nervous about trying to remove it. Hope nothing jumps out!!! Shocked Shocked Shocked
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Re: What kind of bird built this nest?

Post  RJARPCGP on 6/27/2018, 9:03 pm

@sanderson wrote:I thought deer mice looked for more secluded areas.  How would they easily climb up the horizontal siding?  There should be rub marks.  I'm hoping the birds just abandoned the nest because of human activity.  ??
Well, the rule is, the more towards downtown, the lower the risk, but there's still a risk of a stray one and higher spots are more likely to have them, even just at the top of a hill! Claremont, New Hampshire is suspected of having a hotspot, possibly resembling New Mexico! Because I got a report of a mouse crossing a street in a part of Claremont, NH, (even when the reported location, is on the outer edge) in broad daylight! And I saw what looked like a squished mouse in the Claremont, NH Walmart parking lot on June 12, 2017! *shudders* And even that part of Claremont, NH, is on the edge of woods, can hear a chipmunk! (IIRC) When just stepping out of a vehicle to Walmart and the Imperial Chinese buffet restaurant, you can hear a chipmunk! And a bird, which I think, is a vireo, which is a woodlands bird! (IIRC)
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Re: What kind of bird built this nest?

Post  jimmy cee on 6/27/2018, 10:19 pm

Morning Dove
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Re: What kind of bird built this nest?

Post  BlackjackWidow on 6/28/2018, 9:50 am

@jimmy cee wrote:Morning Dove

I also thought mourning dove at first; not sure it's big enough, though - that side entrance seems small to me. Hard to tell from the picture, though.

Here's a really useful site for identification of bird's nests:

https://nestwatch.org/learn/focal-species/

Maybe a house wren? One of the pics of the nests shows a fairly "messy" nest.
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Re: What kind of bird built this nest?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 6/28/2018, 10:50 am

Pulled out my copy of A Field Guide to the Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of American Birds by Colin Harrison.
The key offers a list of nest types, and this one fits in the category "Domed." Eliminating ground-nesters, 'by water', and birds not found in CT (per maps in a different field guide), I'm left with: 'some wrens', and house sparrow. 

My vote is for a wren. I put up a nesting box for Carolina wrens (hole should have been the 'wrong size' for house wrens). I saw tree swallows investigate, but it seemed like a tight fit, and when I checked the box was empty but for a few scraps of moss. A nest appeared, and got bigger. I watched, but did not see the nest builders. Then, eggs appeared -- and I still wasn't able to get a glimpse of who was responsible. The eggs hatched. The nestings would go flat with their eyes closed when I checked the box -- they were very well camouflaged with the nest itself - I couldn't even tell how many there were! I only finally caught a glimpse of the parent house wrens once the chicks were older and being fed frequently. In other words, the nest may not be abandoned -- it may just have very stealthy parents. They don't want predators to know there is a nest there.
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Re: What kind of bird built this nest?

Post  hammock gal on 6/28/2018, 11:12 am

@jimmy cee wrote:Morning Dove
Jimmy, I think this would be too small for doves. And oddly, I haven't seen or heard any mourning doves around my house for a few years now. And I wonder if it's because there seem to be so many hawks around lately. Daily, I see them circling off a ways across the street, and recently saw two of them perched in a tree in my back yard. I wish they'd switch their diet to chipmunks instead!!!
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Re: What kind of bird built this nest?

Post  hammock gal on 6/28/2018, 11:26 am

BJW, that was a really helpful site. Going through the various filters, the choices were narrowed down to either a Carolina wren or a House wren. This morning, I noticed some of the nesting material on the floor of the porch, so there must be some kind of activity going on, even though I haven't been able to catch it. In years past, when there was a nest out there, I would always hear the babies when the parent returned to the nest with food, but maybe they aren't old enough yet, or even hatched. And Beetles, from your experience they may be very good at hiding themselves, so I will wait a while, before attempting to remove the nest, to see what happens. Keep you posted!
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Re: What kind of bird built this nest?

Post  sanderson on 6/28/2018, 12:38 pm

Not a CA dove! They throw 3 sticks together and call it home! The babies always fall to the ground where I either picked them up and put them back in the "nest" or a cat got them. I don't know how the species survives.

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