closeup of the nest woven on the palm frond
Imagine my surprise when I walked outside today to continue my annual rosebush pruning in the garden (more about that in another post) and saw a palm frond lying in our driveway with this woven onto it! Dried up fronds often fall from our neighbour's palm tree onto the driveway and once into the fig tree, usually when it is windy. But this is the first one with a nest "sewn" onto it.
Isn't it beautiful?
I recognized it immediately to be a nest because of the circular shape and how the fibers are woven. The nest is about 6 inches long x 3 inches wide. Some of the nest fiber, which looks like straw, but is actually fiber pulled from other palm fronds, are threaded back and forth through several holes that were pecked into parts of the tough palm frond to anchor the nest.
After doing some research, I learned that this nest was made by a hooded oriole! I didn't look into the nest because I tried to be as careful as possible with it. Obviously it couldn't just be left on the driveway in case it is still in use, or, if it is old, another bird could use it.
Hooded Oriole's nest on a palm frond
So, to save the nest and hang it in a tree, intact, we first cut the fan part of the frond off its stalk , then cut the frond shorter from the bottom edges. Since we couldn't climb the 50 foot tall palm tree to put back the nest, the safest place we found for it was the tall solanum shrub growing alongside the driveway.
Even in the strong winds this afternoon, the nest is secure.
Hooded Oriole nest relocated in the solanum shrub