Nesting Instincts

A few days ago, on our back deck railing, I noticed something going on behind these leaves.

A bird kept zipping back and forth all day long, to and from this four inch wide railing.  And when I figured out that this bird was building a nest, I couldn’t believe my luck – I was so excited that I was going to get to witness this part of nature taking place right on our deck, just steps away from our family room windows.  BTW, these windows are very large (practically cover an entire wall), perfect for prime viewing.  And I couldn’t help wondering if the little birdie on the other side of this window, looking in, would see Bill, Brook and me like fish in a bowl.  This brought up other thoughts, but I’ll tuck these away for another time. 


Here’s a closer view of what the bird has built.  Can you imagine how many trips it must’ve taken for this bird to gather all of these twigs and grass clippings, one tiny beakful at a time?  And on top of these dry pieces, it appears that the bird used something else that looks like mud to keep everything packed together.  As far as I could tell, this bird worked alone building the nest.  This kind of diligence and commitment is awe-inspiring.


Besides the fact that this bird was able to build this sturdy home all by its lonesome, if you take a closer look you’ll see the amazing sculptural artistry.  The cascading tendrils of twigs absolutely swept my breath away.   And it looks like the bird used a lighter, more whispy-like plant material around the bottom, outer edge.


Here’s a view of the nest’s  interior.   Doesn’t it look so cozy and cocoon-like?  And at the same time it has a light, airy-feel – the open top lets in plenty of sunshine and allows the fresh air to circulate.


And speaking of breathing space, I didn’t want to disturb the bird too much so I tried my best to stay away.  This lasted a whole 4 or 5 hours before I gave in.  After making sure that the bird had gone out  (I saw this from our family room window)  I went back for one more quick visit.  And look at what was nestled inside…a bright, blue, beautiful, teeny-tiny egg!


What an awesome sight to witness.  I wasn’t expecting this at all (can you tell I grew up around the city?)  What else would the nest be for, right?  Anyway, because I spent most of my years as a city girl, I’m really quite behind on my knowledge of nature, but I’m getting there.  Perhaps my inexperience with nature makes me that much more curious and fascinated by it, since I’m literally seeing things for the very first time.  Getting a closer look at the many wonders of nature often inspires me to create tangible objects and art pieces – it’s my way of  showing appreciation.    I’m in such awe of this little, hardworking birdie – I can hardly believe that it accomplished this mighty task by creating this masterpiece all through instinct…now that’s following your gut to the max!

For the past few years I’ve been obsessed with these winged-creatures, and they’ve often been the inspiration behind my various art projects.    For instance, here are some bird figures that I created using Das clay (air-drying clay.)  These pieces were published in a previous issue of Somerset Life.  Within my article, Blissful Adornments, you’ll find the how-to instructions to make these charms.




20 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Lisa Leo

    Awesome Becky! I love birdnests and have a collection of them – from tiny to a couple of really big ones! I only pick up ones that have fallen from trees because some birds come back and reuse the same nest – sometimes the same season! Have a wonderful time watching your nest – there will probably be more eggs and wait til they hatch!! Be sure and take some more pictures to share. Love YOUR creations, too!


    June 27th, 2010

  2. i love. it. the bird has built its home piece by piece with such care. they are artists for sure. what a caring artist you are to bring us such a wonderful experience and your beautiful creations.

    June 27th, 2010

  3. oooooohhhhhhhh.
    becky…these are
    BEAUTIFUL photos.
    i am so glad you
    were there to
    capture the preciousness
    i am just as in awe
    of your birdie charms.
    they are totally all that.
    can’t wait to read about
    them in somerset life.
    loved all that your
    shared on crescendoh
    last week. it was great
    to see more of you.
    (thank you
    so much for including
    my little blog – very
    touching to me.)
    happy day!

    June 28th, 2010

  4. I am thrilled you have this opportunity to see this artistry, up close.
    I love looking at how birds weave their nest and materials used. You may be a city girl, but your art work, reflects a soulful nature. It has a peaceful,
    serene look about it. I’m not a city girl, but I always have and still am, draw to nature and all it has to share. Nature has a powerful magic,
    if we are open to it. Happy for you to be aware of these gifts and in turn, we are fortunate to see your inspired work~
    (I now, have added paper clay or Das to my wish list of supplies) ;-D

    June 28th, 2010

  5. oh, these photos
    are so birdsong
    egg contained
    twig holding
    & thank you
    so deeply much
    for including
    my blog this week
    alongside your
    heartfelt story..
    another lovely
    place to rest,
    to nest,
    & savor
    our wings.

    June 28th, 2010

  6. elk

    this speaks to my heart . and my passion . elk

    June 28th, 2010

  7. Suz

    That is so beautiful, I could just cry! I love the perfection of the color of the egg. I have never thought of the work it would take to get a nest built. She (he?) must have been exhausted. Could you tell which of the pair made the nest?

    Congratulations on being in one of my favorite Somerset magazines…..well deserved!!


    June 28th, 2010

  8. Suz, thanks for the congrats on the published pieces – please keep in mind that these bird charms were published in a previous issue, not the current one. However, I also have a few new projects in the current Somerset Life and will post something about them soon. Thanks so much for stopping by!

    June 28th, 2010

  9. i’m so glad you were witness to one of the most spectacular and oldest “crafts” around…..bird nest building!! i’m fascinated with them, too….for instance, i learned this year that hummingbirds use spider webs to help hold their nests together. and i’m always wondering how they’re able to create a nest in such an almost perfect circle….?! some things are best left secret, i guess… xox
    p.s. LOVE your little clay birdies….absolutely wonderful!

    June 28th, 2010

  10. This is truly amazing. I was so lucky to witness an event like this a few years ago. We watched the making of the next, the laying and then the hatching. We were even lucky enough to watch them grow and leave the next. The day they left was amazing, it only took a few moments and when they set flight, they were gone. We really missed them for ages.
    Thanks for sharing.
    love me 🙂

    June 29th, 2010

  11. Tracey, Lori…thanks for sharing your bird nest stories. I love hearing about others’ experiences and the thoughts that follow.

    June 29th, 2010

  12. Isn’t the nest fun to watch? We were fortunate enough to have this experience the past two springs and it’s a wonderful thing to watch. Just wait till the egg hatches and those baby birdie mouths open wide to be fed. So exciting!!!

    June 29th, 2010

  13. how absolutely exciting and wonderful. I love when we have nests in our back yard. And that egg! GORGEOUS. love that blue.

    June 29th, 2010

  14. Vicki

    What a wonderful view you have of this awesome site. We always spot nests in our trees and spend lots of time on our tip toes trying to catch a glimpse of new life. We can hear it but not often see it. Here in Florida most of our houses are single story so no running upstairs for a better view! It will be really fun for you and the family to quietly observe and document in pictures what happens over the next few months. We can wait for you to share.

    June 29th, 2010

  15. Oh Becky! I love this post! How wonderful to be a witness to such sweetness and wonder. And oh my gosh, a bright blue egg! I didn’t know there were bright blue eggs in nature. How cool is that! I too have a fondness for birds – they trigger something deep inside, something core and primal I guess.
    I’m so loving “seeing” you in all the Stampington publications. Every time I smile really big and think to myself, “There’s Becky!”.
    Thank you so much for being such a kind and dear soul and for your comments on my nieces project!

    June 29th, 2010

  16. what a sweet little gift for you to witness and be a part of!

    i love all of the images you were able to capture for us
    and how cozy the interior of that little home looked.

    as for the color of that egg…..all i can say is WOW!!!

    thank you for sharing and i adore your little bird charms!!


    June 30th, 2010

  17. Ooooooh! Did the egg count stay at just one? I thought she would lay a couple more!

    June 30th, 2010

  18. Melissa, now there are three eggs! I’ve been trying to sneak in more peeks, but lately the bird barely budges from its nest (I only go near the nest when it leaves.) Perhaps I’ll have better luck today.

    July 1st, 2010

  19. wow! what a gift! and to see that egg in there…and now to hear that there are 3 eggs in there! imagine what you’ll get to see when the eggs hatch.

    July 1st, 2010

  20. My three nests are now empty, babies have flown, my family and I enjoyed checking out the progress of our eggs! I’ve been playing with making little birds out of some sort of clay, played with a few types of clay but I’ll have to try the air dry type!

    July 11th, 2010

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