About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bird Nest Basics

Hi folks, my wife recently saw, while driving through the neighborhood, a bird nest on a south-facing windowsill, in a spot very exposed to rain and sun.  It appeared to be populated by sparrows (likely House Sparrows), one of which was doing the flutter-the-wings-and-get-fed thing.

Her question to me was, "Why would sparrows locate their nest in such an exposed spot?"  We both think it must get soaked by the rain and baked by the sun. Do you have a better answer than my "Beats me"? I enjoy the heck out of the WBU blog, by the way. ~ Sid in Lansing, Michigan

Nests keep eggs and nestlings warm and safe from predators and bad weather. But sometimes you look at the crazy places birds build nests and ask, why? The answer may be as easy as they’re young.

House Sparrows are one of the most successful breeding birds around the world. If nesting on the window sill has a favorable outcome, you can expect him to try and nest there again. If his nest fails, he'll move on to another location.

Research has found that the basics in nest construction are primarily instinctive, but birds’ nesting skills improve through trial and error.

Thanks for the nice feedback!

Thank you Sarah - inexperience isn't something I'd considered.  This particular nest does seem to be "working" though, which tells me that these sparrows are, like I think all creatures are, as smart as they need to be.  Thanks! Sid

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