You must do the things you think you cannot do.
Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cool stuff falling from the sky

No, not money or new running shoes...though that would be seriously cool.

We've had some insane wind here lately and have lost a lot of smaller branches on our trees in the back yard.  The wind gusts here are so bad that we have hurricane shingles on our house, in western MD, far from hurricanes. Crazy, I know.

While I was out taking care of the chickens yesterday morning I saw that we also lost a pretty good sized branch so I checked it out. We have 3 dead trees that we need to cut down and the top half of one of them broke off. Thankfully no dogs, chickens or children were harmed in the crashing of the branch.

But I found what I *think* is an Oriole's nest though it could be the nest of a Red-eyed Vireo.

Cool, huh?

These are super hard to spot in a tree. Last summer Bill saw one in a tree in our field and even knowing where it was, we had to really look for it. We have a little collection of nests we've found in the yard over the years, and this is our second nest that looks like this.*

I read that Oriole's nests are typically about 8 inches deep and this one is half that - but - I haven't seen any Vireos in our yard so I don't know which bird made this.

Later in the day, Ella and I took the fake Christmas greenery off the front fence (yes, it's February, but we're hillbillies so we're allowed to wait this long to undecorate). While I was gathering it up, I saw this little gem.

Cute, isn't it?

It's too big to be a hummingbird nest, and they would have already migrated by the time we put the greenery up. I'm guessing it's the nest of some sort of wren?

I love the diversity of nests. They're both so intricate and beautiful (I think so anyway) and yet so very different. It's completely amazing to me that a little bird just knows how to make this and what sort of material to use and where to build it so predators can't find them. 

With the kids' science classes, we make sure to point out to them how all of creation shows God's majesty from the enormity of the stars and planets down to a little flower seed. And I"m so glad the kids are able to see things like this up close and even handle them. We're really blessed to live in the area we do.

I've wanted to cover 'flying creatures' for our science class for the last two years but have decided to do what our homeschool co-op was doing instead. Next schoolear - flying creatures or bust. You read it here first!

* Note that all birds (except pigeons, English Sparrows and starlings) are protected by federal and state laws and you're no allowed to kill, harm or possess them. And you shouldn't take nests out of trees or bushes just to add them to your collection. All the nests in our collection were found on the ground and on our property. If you have problem birds, contact your local animal control and they can point you in the right direction for help.

1 comment:

misszippy said...

Those are some cool looking nests! How fun if it is an oriole. I've lived in Md for 13 yrs. now and have never seen one.


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