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As Birds Start Nesting, Things Start Getting Funky

2014 May 2
by Seth Inman

Maybe it’s already happened to you in years past: you walk into your garage, ready to take your first bike ride of the year now that it’s finally warm enough, but you lift your old helmet only to find that it is full of moss, leaves, and twigs. What?! You may think it’s a late April Fool’s joke, but actually it is the product of a lot of hard work by a small cavity-nesting bird that has found a safe place to put their home. Depending on where you live, it could be any number of species, but the most common by far are the Carolina Wren and House Wren.

Clockwise from top left, submissions are by Joe Hoelscher, David Hutchinson, Mike Smith, and Sophie Lyon.

Clockwise from top left, submissions are by Joe Hoelscher, David Hutchinson, Mike Smith, and Sophie Lyon.

Dozens of previous entrants to our yearly Funky Nests in Funky Places Challenge have sent us photos of situations like the one above, as well as countless other odd nesting locations, from car tire-wells to the shoulders of statues in the park! In a few days, we’ll be starting up this year’s Challenge, and we look forward to seeing your photos, reading your poems and stories, checking out your artwork, and watching your videos that document, describe, or celebrate funky nests in funky places.

So keep your eyes peeled, and remember to expect the unexpected when it comes to birds nesting in man-made environments — every structure is an opportunity for a home!

6 Responses leave one →
  1. Iva permalink
    May 2, 2014

    I think that you also warn people to be respectful and careful not to disturb the nesting birds. Sometimes they may leave the nest if there is too much human presence.

  2. Seth Inman permalink*
    May 2, 2014

    That’s an excellent point, Iva! On our webpage we try to highlight that important aspect of wildlife observation, particularly here!

  3. Joe Donohue permalink
    May 15, 2014

    How long does the funky nest contest run? I couldn’t find any dates.

    • Marta del Campo permalink*
      May 16, 2014

      Hi! Thank you for your interest in this fun challenge! We will receive entries until July 1, 2014. You can find additional information about the challenge and how to participate at

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