Nest construction seems to be in full swing now that the snow has melted and the temperature seems to stay above freezing (but barely). On our walk through the flooded cottonwood and silver maple forest at Roberts Bird Sanctuary in Minneapolis, we saw several birds hard at work readying their abodes.
This downy woodpecker male dug out this perfectly round hole and was busy removing wood from the interior. He was still working on it when we walked by him 20 minutes later. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t make a hole this round and perfectly smooth in a tree given a hammer and chisel. I wonder how the woodpeckers do it?
He’s really getting into his work, getting it ready for inspection by Mrs. Downy. It looks like a bit of a tight squeeze there. You would think going in and out of this tiny hole so frequently would damage their feathers.
Robins build their nests in a variety of places: bushes, eaves, under decks, but this one chose a fork in a cottonwood tree about 40 feet up, where it is fairly visible and probably won’t be obscured by tree leaves. Not a great site when it comes to protecting nestlings from predators.
This Canada Goose has added sticks, cattail heads, and a few other random objects to her nest which is just barely above the water.
Next the goose plucks some down from beneath its breast feathers to line the nest. It can’t be very comfortable resting for hours on sharp, pointed sticks.
Settling in for the duration. I couldn’t really see if there were actually eggs in the nest, but why else would she sit there?