Friday, January 29, 2010

Discoveries in Winter Birding

One of the cool things about birding in the winter is being able to find those things that are hidden by Spring and Summer foliage... like nests!  Every year I am amazed at where I find nests.  There are certain bushes or trees that you just come to know at your favorite birding haunts.  I am surprised when I find a nest in one of these trees or bushes...where the nest was hidden in plain sight.

Here is an example of one of my favorite nest discoveries.  This is a tree right next to one of Avimor's gravel trails, just on the east side of Spring Valley Creek.  You can see the soccer field of Foothills Heritage Park in the background.  I have walked by this tree dozens of times, but recently I discovered a small nest in it.  Can you see it?

Check it out in the bend of the branch where younger branches shoot out.  This is a tiny tea-cup size nest.  I originally discovered this nest location in October when I was preparing for the Avimor Big Sit.  It used to be lined with feather down, so I think it was a hummingbird nest.  See that tuft pulled up in the back? It looks like birds have started pulling from the nest, perhaps to build another nest.    I'll watch it again this Spring and Summer and see if any birds reuse it.

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