Nesting

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 there working when we walked by him 20 minutes later.

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

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.

Rpbins build their nests in a variety of places:  bushes, eaves, under decks, but this one chose a fork in a cottonwood about 40 feet up, where it is fairly visible and won't be obscured by tree leaves.  Not a great choice to protect nestlings from predators.

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.

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.

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.

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?

4 thoughts on “Nesting

  1. Oh, bad choice of location for that robin. Maybe first time parents? I often wonder how they decide where to place the nest and if it’s a learning process. Some are so well hidden I don’t notice them until the nestlings fledge.

    • Isn’t that the truth? Some make dumb decisions, but manage to get a couple of chicks to fledge anyway. But in most cases, dumb decisions lead to no offspring, so that’s the end of the bad decision gene.

    • Actually, there are a lot of probably better places even yet to go birding near the Twin Cities. If you think you might come this way, let me give you a couple of recommendations.

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