Friday, June 4, 2010

I Did A Bad, Bad Thing

June 4, 2010

I Did A Bad Bad Thing

Yesterday while I was cleaning up under my carport I noticed a birds nest in the corner.
I suspected there was a nest nearby because of all the bird crap on my patio furniture.

I got the ladder out and peeked into the nest.
Because there were neither eggs nor baby birds in the nest, I assumed it was vacant and that I could take it down.

Oliver, Freya and I were excited to be able to examine a bird nest so close.
We spent the better part of an hour slowly and carefully taking it apart.
(We only slightly noticed a small chickadee bopping about and screeching at us.)

The bits and bobs the bird used to make the nest were incredible.
Why the entire circumference of the nest was covered in thick bird crap is a mystery.
Was it used to cement twigs together?

I imagine it took a great deal of time to gather all the twigs, grass, string, cigarette filters and twine.
Add to that the time the sweet bird spent weaving together all that nest building stuff.
It was a labor of love for the little bird, building a cozy, safe nest for her babies.
She probably chirp and sung the entire time she worked on her nest.

The nest was actually built as two separate nests.
The outer nest was made of foundation materials such as twigs, grasses and dead leaves.
Inside the foundation was a smaller, softer nest made of string, laundry fluff (that blows out of my house) and cigarette filters.

Freya was the first to notice the little bird hopping about madly behind us.

I was deconstructing her life's work right before her little bird eyes.
The mama chickadee would fly under the carport where her nest had been, to the dead peach tree above us and then to the cement behind us flapping chirping and panicking.
She even followed me to the garbage when I threw her disassembled nest away.
There was no way we could put her nest back together and under the carport.
Even if we could have, she wouldn't have used the tainted nest to lay her eggs.
Honestly I haven't felt that sad and regretful for a decision I have made in a long time.

As I sat thinking about the poor chickadee and the fact that she had nowhere to lay her eggs
I remembered a blog post about a 'nest building station'.
It can be found on (March 18, 2010)
I can't make make the angry, soon to be mama bird a new nest but I could put out soft fiber material to help with her renest building efforts.
Chris cut the bottom off a two liter bottle and I hole punch each side.

I filled it with sewing scraps and laundry fuzz.
Then we hung it in the dead peach tree.

I learned a valuable lesson from this.
Don't be hasty.
Because there was a lot of bird shit on my patio I looked for a nest.
Finding the nest with neither eggs nor baby birds, I destroyed it.
I should have looked around and paid attention to my surroundings.
We were so interested in taking apart the nest to see how it was built when we could have watched it being built.

Later in the evening Freya found sparklers from last year in the garage so we lit them up.
That was a nice way to end the evening.


  1. I probably would have done the same thing. Thanks for sharing that though. I really love your idea of putting out the things a bird could use to build a new nest. Excellent tips. :) Last year we had Barn Swallows build a nest right over our front door, so there was bird crap on the doorstep everday. I was excited to watch them (they had 3 sets of four eggs last summer), but when they flew away I got the nest down. They've visited this summer already and sit on my rain gutters, but I think they know I'm watching for a new nest. I'll be watching closer this time too. Hope your summer is lovely. :) ~m

  2. Ohhhh, how sad and something that anybody could have done. Don't beat your self up about it but I appreciate the lessons I can learn from this post.
    I love what you did to try to make up for it. We all know you are a nature lover and would NEVER do anything like this just for destruction. We love you!

  3. Oh, don't be too hard on yourself! You couldn't have known, and obviously, had you, you wouldn't have destroyed it! What a thoughtful thing to offer a supply of nest rebuilding materials!

  4. I've done the same thing! I made my "I'm so sorry supply bag" out of a mesh onion sack filled with paper ran through the shredder and hair left over from haircuts some ribbon and yarn. They loved the hair! I got to take apart some really cool nests after they used them.

  5. Ugh, what a crappy feeling. So sorry.

    And I think you did a lovely thing trying to make it right.

    I'll be interested to hear whether the mama bird goes for any of the things you set out to build a new nest!