The littlest bird’s nest

The littlest bird's nest

The tiniest (and therefore cutest) bird’s nest I have ever seen, tucked into the spindly branches of an elderly bush that faces the road in front of the Manse.

I was walking out to the car the other day and something caught my eye. It was a very small clump of twigs or something amid the winter-bare branches of a bush that sits out in front of the Manse, and has been there ever since I was a kid growing up here. (Of course I don’t know what kind of bush it is; what do you think I am, a gardener?)

At first I thought it was just some organic matter that had blown there during one of the many windy days and nights we’ve had here in the Queensborough area recently. But then I looked a little closer.

It was a bird’s nest! A teeny-tiny bird’s nest, the smallest one I’ve ever seen. It’s maybe five inches across, though only barely.

There have been no signs of any birds around this tiny nest, at least as far as I’ve noticed; though given that I’m away at work from before sunrise till after sundown, that might not mean anything. Still, I think the nest is abandoned, perhaps having served its useful purpose during the summer when the old bush was full of leaves and it was well-hidden.

Anyway, what I wonder about this newly revealed nest is: what bird is so small that it could make a home for itself and its offspring in such a tiny place?

Do any of you readers knowledgeable about birds – I know you’re out there – have any ideas?

6 thoughts on “The littlest bird’s nest

  1. You’re right, I believe. Birds build nests solely for laying eggs and raising their young. In spring when they are using their nest you may be able to identify the bird. But if you really want to know now, you can go to http://nestwatch.org/learn/how-to-nestwatch/identifying-nests-and-eggs/ and try to solve the mystery. We had a golden crowned kinglet nest in a shrub here one year – had to patiently sit and wait for the bird to come home, then snap a picture in order to later identify it. Worth the time!

    • Oh wow – that website you sent the link to is quite something, Pauline. Who knew there were ways to identify bird nests? (Okay, well, I didn’t, that’s for sure.) Now I am wondering (and feeling that I should already know the answer, but I don’t): will birds return to an already-built nest? If our teen-tiny and fragile-looking nest in the old bush makes it through the winter, might a new (or old) family start inhabiting it next spring? Man, I wish I had figured out earlier in life that watching the birds (and their nests) could be so interesting!

  2. You cannot be sure until May/June if the bird will return. Chipping sparrows often nest close to human activity and go unnoticed. They like lawns and do build nests in low bushes. Be watchful next spring as there are other possibilities.

      • Thanks, Nancy Lou! It’s funny, now that I have written about that tiny nest – and I think I exaggerated when I said it could be five inches across; more like four inches, max – I am so curious to know what bird lived there in the past, and especially what bird might come back to live there next spring!

    • Thank you, Len! We absolutely will keep a watch for returning birds to that tiny nest. Having just looked up chipping sparrows, I now know 100 per cent more about them than I ever did before – but are they really small enough for a family to fit in that wee nest? I guess next spring will tell the tale!

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