Monday, May 23, 2011

nests & things

treasures by kristin~mainemomma
treasures, a photo by kristin~mainemomma on Flickr.

i am a collector of many things. tattered fortunes from fortune cookies eaten, seashells and sea glass, sand dollars, smooth stones, corks of wine bottles from celebrations past, and found feathers. i am sentimental it seems. i love finding special feathers, but had yet to find a downed nest. i commented to my mom about this and she remembered she had a nest somewhere. she had found it a few years ago while we all lived in pennsylvania. she quickly found it stored in a cupboard and gifted it to me along with a new blue jay feather she had found in her yard that day. 2 beautiful new treasures. i was a happy girl.
gifts by kristin~mainemomma
gifts, a photo by kristin~mainemomma on Flickr.

speaking of nests, there is a nest in the eaves of our carport/garage area i have been keeping my eye on this spring. it is too high for me to see, so with the help of our ladder i have been climbing up hoping to find some eggs. many days, no bird in sight, no eggs. i was beginning to think that perhaps the nest was abandoned for some reason. then yesterday i climbed up and there were 4 eggs! i have never seen a nest with eggs up close this way, so when i climbed down and looked at the images in my camera i was confused why 1 egg was larger and spotted. my husband and i came inside and through the internet we discovered we have a rogue cowbird egg. this is not good news. i have since learned, cowbirds are brood parasites, laying their eggs in nests of other perching birds, then leaving their egg to be hatched and nurtured by the other species. if the egg is discarded by the nesting bird the cowbird may return to the nest and then destroy the rest of the nest, or if hatched the cowbird is usually bigger than the other eggs and hatch lings, hence causing problems in nurturing the original babies. i was so happy to see eggs, but now i am a little heartbroken wondering what will become of all these eggs. what will nature's outcome be? i do hope it is a happy ending....
rogue by kristin~mainemomma
rogue, a photo by kristin~mainemomma on Flickr.


Grace to You said...

That is the most bizarre thing I've ever heard - it's tragic! We're hoping with you for a good outcome. In the meantime, hope the eggies don't freeze before it finally warms up around here! :)

Creative Mom said...

What a beautiful nest despite the cowbird egg. I have heard of those before they're tricky birds. I would want to just get rid of it it's good you did research.

barb said...

In our old house there was a small bird house attached to our garage that the previous owners had left there. It seemed as though every spring the same birds would occupy the house and it was always an exciting time for me to watch them through my kitchen window and hear the baby birds chirping each year when walking to the garage. It will always be a fond memory of that cute little house which was once ours. And today I found a nest, not too far up, at the hotel we're staying at and inside were four baby birds that couldn't have been more than a week or two old. I'll have to get a picture before we leave tomorrow. Such great treasures you've come upon, and I sure hope that all works out well for that little nest of eggs you've kept a watchful eye on.

urban muser said...

wow, such an interesting story about the eggs. who knew? i hope it turns out OK.

lucy said...

what a beautiful nest, edged with moss. i love watching nests and hatchlings. but it's hard when the story has an unhappy ending. we had a nest that had 4 babies one day, and then the next day they were gone -- probably carted off by a cat or hawk. i took the nest out of the bush and put it on my deck, and the birds came and picked it apart to build a new nest. ah, the great circle of life!

Juanita said...

That blue feather is particularly beautiful.

MaggieRaye said...

Grace to You, shared this link with me at a recent homeschool nature study group. I passed the info on to others on my blog.

Another interesting lesson as we study the natural world around us.

Thank you so much for sharing!