Wednesday, 11 September 2013

How to make a bird's nest

When I was little I thought bird's nest soup was made from real birds' nests! This caused me much anxiety as a child. Now I'm all grown up, I understand things slightly better.

The hound and I came upon a discarded bird's nest this morning. Had it fallen out of a tree, pushed by the wind? Autumn winds are arriving now which always signifies the end of summer. Or had the mama and papa decided that since all their progeny had flown the coop they were off to warmer climes for a much needed break?

This nest is most certainly that of a crow. I observe the crows daily- they tend to sit at the very top of the trees scouring lesser mortals and prey below. Their nests are also very high up in the trees. Small birds would find it difficult to construct such a large nest with their small beaks. (Everything is relative, as Einstein famously said.) And why build a big nest when you're only knee high to a grasshopper yourself?

The nest appears to have been made with young beech twigs- the supple, malleable, immature wood that emerges early in the spring. The early shoots of the beech tree are pliable enough to weave into each bird's design. Birds understand timing better than us- what use would be the sturdier, thicker branches in full summer to make a nest with? And the nesting season would be shorter too as the autumn winds would pose a risk to growing chicks.

There is a cycle in nature that we humans have abandoned because it no longer suits our purpose. We've lost the ability to see with our nose and feel with our ears. If only we would return to our simple, unfettered state, like the wild birds, and follow the natural order that has been here since time immemorial.

 Photos copyright SvD.

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