Sunday, April 25, 2010

Nest Serendipity

At 9 am two Sundays back, I Googled "brown creeper nest" because I wanted to see what kind of domicile these peripatetic feathered creatures construct. According to my field guide, they build "behind a loose slab of bark still attached to a living or dead tree...sides of nest continue upward, ending in points (crescent-shaped like hammock, half-moon)."

Hmmm, this sounds convoluted. And complicated, I thought. There's no way in hell I'll ever find one of those.
But by 10 am, I was standing in front of not one, but two creeper nests! Like the brown- and cream-marbled bird, the nest is well camouflaged. They take advantage of cracks in branches or bark peeling away from the trunk. They then stuff if with the usual small bird favorites: moss, hair, feathers.

On the left is the nest, only about three feet from the ground, on April 11. On the right is the same nest, with additional material, on April 22. No eggs yet.

Here is the host tree, on the UW campus. Another nest is in a crevice in a branch to the right.

Here is the architect at the entrance of the branch nest:

The serendipity continued...the heron colony was about 30 feet up the path. And beneath that was a very plump bushtit nest, scenically dangling above a blazingly crimson rhododendron.


  1. That tree looks like something out of The Wizard of Oz!

  2. Clare, have I told you just how much I love this blog?!

    I spent a great deal of my childhood seeking out birds and their nests. This brings it all back. Sigh.

    (wv: doiderog -- isn't that a variety of rare & nearly extinct PNW waterfowl?!!)