Bird Nests

Spotted Sandpiper Nest

This month I happened across three different active bird nests in less than a week. In my experience, it’s not that easy to find most bird nests. I have managed to notice a few around town, where cover is limited and people are much more accepted by the birds. I have also found a few Red-breasted Sapsucker nests, though that is due to the constant loud calling of their young more than any real observational skill on my part.

The first nest was a Spotted Sandpiper nest on a sand spit at the end of Medvejie Lake. I had seen an adult, and figured there might be a nest somewhere around, but I was taking pictures of flowers rather than looking for a nest when I happened to notice four eggs in a grass cup on the ground. I later read that the female will often mate with more than one male, staying to help raise the young with only the last of her mates. I only saw one adult, so I am guessing it was a male taking care of its nest and waiting for the young to hatch.

Fox Sparrow Nest

Near where the Mt. Verstovia trail leaves the trail, I was walking slowly and happened to see a sparrow flitting about. I then heard the sound of small birds begging, and as juveniles sometimes are easier to get photos of, I investigated a little more. It was then that I noticed the nest maybe waist high in a tree just a few feet off the trail. The chicks were still downy, and I was not sure what species, so I waited on the trail until the adults came back and saw that they were Fox Sparrows. There seemed to be two adults, but I did not stick around long enough to be positive.

Orange-crowned Warbler Nest

Just as I was reaching the top of the trail, I heard begging calls coming from over a ledge. I did not think much of it, but a couple of minutes later I heard the calls again, and it sounded like they were coming from the same place. The ledge dropped down only a few feet, and I climbed down it and sat watching. Before long I noticed a warbler flitting about in the scrubby Mountain Hemlocks. It had a beak full of caterpillars, but seemed a little bit wary of me. Finally it flew in to its nest. Once I knew where to look, it was actually fairly easy to see the nest. It was made in a small burrow shelteredby overhanging vegetation. I watched this nest for a while. There were 5 chicks that rested quietly until they heard something. Then they would raise their heads up and open their mouths, but would not make a sound. Only when the adult came right to the nest did they start begging.

Orange-crowned Warbler Nest

About matt goff

I am an aspiring naturalist who seeks to learn all that I can about the more-than-human aspects of this place that is my home.

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3 Responses to Bird Nests

  1. ritagoshorn says:

    thank you for posting such fine pictures! enjoyed your nesting trek.
    am going to browse the rest of your pictures, too. thanks for the opportunity to do so.
    wow! an hour of browsing! interesting. wish i could have browsed through sitka looking at birds when i was there a very long time ago.
    thanx again.

  2. Larry Zervos says:

    Matt:

    Good job finding these nests and getting such wonderful photos.

    Larry Zervos

  3. Pingback: Hermit Thrush Nest in Totem Park | Sitka Nature

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