Thursday, May 10, 2012

Catbird Nest Vs. Cardinal Nest

I had to take these photos fast or I would have been clobbered. I thought it was a robin's nest because of the blue eggs but someone showed me a catbird's nest and I changed my mind. We had 3 noisy grey catbirds move into the area recently and this must be what they're protecting.

The most unusual feature was the nest's density. I never saw anything like it. It was over an inch thick and downright impenetrable. In the second photo you can see bits of dried mud she probably used as mortar (right side, near the top of the nest). Her own personal bomb shelter. After all that work, she'll abandon it. There were 3 eggs.





Below is a cardinal's nest, Chuck and Charlene's nest. It's not as sturdy as the catbird vault above and looks like it was assembled hastily. Where the catbird opts for strength with a clean, tight, no-frills braid, the cardinal goes for camouflage, weaving in leaves for disguise. From afar, this nest looked like a clump of debris stuck in a bush. Last year she built a nest in a flowering white azalea and wove white blooms throughout. It was glorious! And well-hidden.

Can you spot it? The nest is dead center in the photo.


Closer...


Closer...


Here I bent the branch down to take a shot from above. I'm glad it was empty. I don't like to toy with them when they're occupied. Chicks duck down and are quiet when their parents are out getting food, so I wasn't sure.

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5 comments:

caulfieldkid said...

The bit about weaving blooms into the nest reminds me: At one point, years ago, my wife hung a decorative basket on the outside of our front door. It had (fake) flowers and such in it.

We ended up swinging a nest and baby birds for weeks. . .

shaun

Bix said...

I'd love to see that!

Why do they insist upon nesting near the front door? Is it warm? Or safe? I feel awful going in and out and watching them flee in terror.

We have a wad a crinkled aluminum foil wrapped around the top of our hanging porch light to discourage nest building there.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting nest and beautiful eggs. What a wonderful dense tree for nesting, or is it a very large bush? Anyway, thanks--enjoyed seeing it.

Bix said...

Thanks, Anon. It's an evergreen bush, a holly type? I'm not really sure but you're right, it is dense. And it keeps its leaves throughout winter so it's ideal for nest building come Spring. I always find an old nest in it.

Dr. Mel said...

Great photos Bix.