Sunday, February 08, 2009

Pictures of House Wren, Goldfinch, Tufted Titmouse and Downy Woodpecker Bird Nests from the Garden

One of the many things that I enjoy about being a gardener is the opportunity for my family to observe all of the native wildlife close-up, particularly the birds. In preparation for spring, we cleaned out all of the bird houses and nesting boxes around the yard and it is so amazing to see how each type of bird nest is made of different materials from the garden. Here are a few of the nests that we found and my best guesses on who made them:

The house wrens made their nest exclusively with twigs. Unfortunately, we discovered a few babies that didn't make it out of this nest last year. They made this nest in one of the small bird houses on Goldberry Hill (picture of a house wren nest).
The goldfinches (?) made their nest mostly of wood shavings, small pieces of cedar mulch, and coarse grasses. I think it was made by goldfinches because of the yellow goldfinch-looking feathers I found in the box, but Paul H. below in the comments suggests it may not be. They made this in one of the nest boxes on the deer fence (picture of a goldfinch nest).
The tufted titmice win the contest for the most comfortable-looking nest. They made their nest mostly of leaves and fine grasses. They made this nest in the children's fort. Interestingly, the nest was built vertically like a cave instead of horizontally like a cup (picture of a tufted titmouse nest).
The downy woodpeckers (?) made this nest mostly of wood shavings topped with leaves. Thanks to Paul H. in the comments below for the identification (picture of a downy woodpecker nest).


Gardeness said...

How fun to come across those little homes. I'm still working on identifying birds let alone their dwellings. Thanks for sharing.

Paul H. said...

Are you sure that a goldfinch made that nest? I always thought that they made small, open cup-like nests in the crotch of tree branches.

As for the bottom nest, check to see if there are lichens in it. If there are, it might be a chickadee nest. If not, maybe a downy woodpecker.

heirloomgardener said...

Paul H.,

No, I'm not sure it was a goldfinch. I thought it was because, if you look at the picture, there were some yellow goldfinch-looking feathers. As for the last one, we have both downy woodpeckers and chickadees, but guessing from the size, downy woodpeckers are more likely--thank you for the suggestions.

-Heirloom Gardener

heirloomgardener said...

Paul H.,

If that is not a goldfinch nest, any ideas on what it is?

-Heirloom Gardener

Paul H. said...

Hm, that yellow feather is intriguing. I almost want to say that whoever made the nest just found the feather and used it as nesting material (it almost looks like a flicker feather, but they're way too big for that box. It could certainly be a goldfinch feather also).

It's possible that the nest was created by a house wren. I know that the male house wren has a habit of actually building several nests, and then letting the female choose the one she likes the best. This happened to me last year; I kept finding all these empty "dummy" nests around the garden!

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Good morning Heirloom gardener, very interesting post, how sweet to se their tiny nests/ Tyra

Marta McDowell said...

Thank you for sharing the nests. So precious. Have you tried a nest for mason bees? My honeybees were flying today.

heirloomgardener said...

Mason bees? No, I haven't, I'll have to explore that. Do you have a post on it?

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