Sunday, March 14, 2010

Birds Recyle Too!

Birds are exemplary recyclers--these bushtits are gleaning mossy bits from a tattered bushtit nest of yesteryear, presumably for this year's nest. (Or perhaps they were merely insect hunting.) Any keen bushtit watcher can recognize this type of nest, whether it's in just-woven condition (looking very much like a tatty, discarded gym sock that has never seen a spin cycle) or in tattered shreds (as these fragments are) flailing from a tree.

Our avian friends offer an efficient approach to home-building; they do not manufacture anything to build their nests; instead they cull and transform existing objects to build their broody homes.

In fact, many birds collect the feathers of other birds of species other than their own. In other words, you can find russety robin feathers, for example, in a bushtit nest. We sleep on feather down pillows, cossetted in feather down duvets, as do birds in their own way.

1 comment:

  1. Not a bird, but I once watched a mother squirrel gather bits of a bright blue blanket that a neighbor had tossed into their yard. Later that spring, a June storm dislodged the nest from the Douglas fir in my front yard (along with the baby squirrels) and there were the blanket shreds, strewn amongst the vinca and impossible blackberry vines.