While walking around our garden that doesn't look its best now that summer is ending and most plants are losing their blooms, I looked up at the Solanum shrub and noticed a ball of twigs and grass. Could it be? Yes! It definitely is a bird nest about 8 feet up from the ground.
With all the birds that frequent our garden, I've suspected and hoped that some of them build nests in our trees and shrubs. But I only know for certain 2 that were built around our backyard, a mockingbird nest in our flowering potato vine and mourning doves built theirs this summer in our neighbor's tree (I still haven't figured out what kind of tree it is).
I'm always excited to see the nests, actually feel honored that birds trust us enough to build them in our garden!
It would be great to know which birds built this nest. Our garden is frequented by towhees, chestnut-back chickadees, several kinds of sparrows, Anna's hummingbirds, mourning doves, house finches, house wrens, black phoebes, oak titmice, crows, scrub jays and more.
In this closeup you can see on the left side of the nest that the birds used something manmade: strips of green, white and shiny paper, maybe from a flyer that ended up in the yard. Candy wrappers?
We try to clean up any stray garbage that flies into the garden. I'm especially conscious of the fact that if parent birds pick up and use very fine string or twine and weave it into the nest, the baby chicks can get their tiny feet or legs twisted in it. This can result in permanent deformities making them more vulnerable to their predators.
With the seasons changing, the nests may be re-used by other birds. Or they may slowly fall apart in the wind and eventually become natural compost on the ground.
Hopefully birds will be nesting in our garden again next spring!