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Thread subject: Odd Nest Site
Name Date Message
Dave S 07/01/04 10:51 am I think was printed in August of 2002, it's an interesting tale!
Marie 07/01/04 11:21 am Read that article...thanks DAVE. Most interesting. Guess that young Osprey was hardly going to attract a female if its nest kept sailing away like that. I assume that was the story otherwise the boat owner would have seen two ospreys in and out of that nest.
Shelley 07/01/04 11:52 am I thought it was against the law in the United States to remove or even touch any nest, regardless of whether it has eggs or is even in use.

To the best of my knowledge, we don't have that law here, thank goodness, as I have quite a collection of abandoned nests which I display in my classroom every spring for my students. They (the nests!) are truly fascinating wonders of bird architecture and ingenuity. My next project would be to be able to identify each one of them.
Mickey 07/01/04 01:12 pm Shelley.........why would you collect abandoned nests? By now you must know that even if not used one season, new Ospreys to the area might very well like it one year and make it theirs :(
Shelley 07/01/04 01:28 pm Well, to be honest, of all the nests I have (maybe 8 or 9, by now), only one was actually found by me. All the others were given to me by friends or colleagues who know how interested I am in birds, nests and anything remotely connected. I also try to pass on that love and enthusiasm to my students each year by doing a unit on birds every spring. (I wish I could show you some of the little projects they have done, my little 6,7, & 8-year-olds!)

Just north of Toronto, there is a wonderful place called the Kortright Conservation Centre. They have the most wonderful programmes there, year-round, for everyone, kids, families, nature-lovers, etc. The director for over 30 years (just retired this past year), is an amazing man. When I was at a workshop there last year, I asked him about the nests. I asked him if birds reuse nests and if so, I would NEVER think of taking one. He told me that some do, or might, but in general, most birds (especially the smaller songbirds in this area, whose nests I have) are basically hard-wired to build nests in the spring. It's just something they do instinctively. He said I wasn't doing any harm or damage by taking a nest that was empty in the fall or that had fallen to the ground (as a few of those I have, were). Believe me, the nests I have are quite small, nothing an osprey would even look twice at. I have stored them in shoe boxes and freezer-sized ziplock bags, if that gives you an idea.

So, with that blessing, I am able to sleep at night...;-)

(Am I still in your *good book*???)
Cecilia 07/01/04 02:59 pm Everything I have ever read about song birds confirms that most don't use old nests and in fact many build several nests each year...some as back ups, some to confuse predators, some to offer prospective mates a choice..."See has a blue ribbon and a really nice mud floor and sturdy oak twig construction and"...So I think you're safe collecting nests from the ground and on your property where you know for sure that they're not being used.

I accidentaly dislodged a cat bird nest last weekend when I was pruning hedges (never saw it) and it broke my heart when I looked down and saw two broken eggs on the ground. I put it back just in case but I doubt if the pair will come back to it. It was really beautifully made with a round cup surrounded by the silliest stuff...a ribbon, a round plastic circle from a soda can holder, another piece of long, soft plastic and a piece of styrofoam. The eggs were a gorgeous blue, which made me think it was a robbins nest but eventually I saw a cat bird looking all around the nest and on the ground...for the eggs I guess. This pair nests here every year but usually in the Leland Cypresses so I never expected find a nest in some old Crotons. I felt so awful I had to go inside :-(
Shelley 07/01/04 03:35 pm How sad, Cecilia! I would have also been horrified! One of the nests I have which was given to me by a friend has a small strip of old brown cassette tape woven into it! Also, it looks like it has been lined at the bottom of its nest cup with, of all things, cat fur! Soft, for sure, but personally, if I were a bird, the smell of cat fur would not be reassuring! It's so interesting what they will use, isn't it?

I'd worry about that plastic circle from the soda can holder, you mentioned. Like other human garbage that birds and other animals will pick up if they are scavenging (and as we saw in that link I posted from the eagle nest just the other day), some of this stuff can truly be deadly to birds!
Mickey 07/01/04 04:03 pm I must apologise Shelley....After reading your response and your 1st post I misunderstood it to be that you have many Osprey nests. When you meant bird nest in general. Sorry
Shelley 07/01/04 04:22 pm No problem. Mickey, I am 5 feet tall and on the small side. Can you just picture me collecting those 500-pound osprey nests for my class?? And storing them in shoes boxes and ziplock bags? (what I wouldn't give for a ROFLMAO icon right now!)
It's at times like these, that I wish I could draw caricatures, oh, I'd have fun with that image...:-D . My students would fall out of their chairs, laughing at me! You should have seen them when I imitate birds flapping...and do hand-over-hand, getting THEM to flap...! But I digress....

I have no idea if osprey are present in Toronto but I'm sure they must be, out in the country areas. My friend just moved to a place on a lake about 2 hours from here and she is luring me there with tales of loons, herons, swans and all sorts of other birds on her lake, every single day!!!! I'l be visiting there one of these days very very soon!!!
Celeste 07/01/04 06:44 pm Shelley, if you don't go to that lake soon, my husband will. There is nothing like the sound of loons in late evening or very early morning when you are gliding on a lake.

Copyright © 2004 DPOF

Tom Throwe
Last modified: Fri Dec 31 23:49:43 EST 2004