I love watching the birds at feeders in our yard, and sometimes I get to watch them nesting. We have an old feeder whose center glass “V” is missing, so the inside of the feeder is open. It isn’t any good as a feeder since the glass acted as a funnel to allow the seed to drop down to the open sides of it, but since it’s wide open and still attached to it’s mounting post, the robins have tried a couple of times to nest in there. The first time, the starlings pulled the nest out and dropped it on the ground, and the eggs broke. The year we moved into this house, I’d planted a small forsythia next to the pole, but it wasn’t big enough to shelter the feeder. The last few years, the branches have covered the wide open feeder, so it’s much more hidden than previous years, and the trumpet vine on the opposite side has matured enough to contribute to the feeder/nester’s sheltering. While that’s been good for the robins and their babies, it hasn’t been too good for the photographer … I haven’t been able to actually see inside the nest box, so without actually pulling the branches away, pictures aren’t going to happen, and I really would rather not disturb the nest (or get pecked to death by parent robins).
The year the nest was knocked down, the parents rebuilt their nest at the house next door … in what I thought was a rather unlikely place, but surprisingly, it did survive til the babies hatched. They’d chosen to wedge it into the space between the brick wall and the outside light right at the front porch of the house. Although it was probably warm enough since the light was on most of the night (my son-in-law works night shift), the family had to come and go through the door directly beside the light. Trying to get in or out when the robin parents were “at home” was a bit of a trial often with the parents kicking up quite a ruckus and flying around the heads of the family. Thankfully, that was the only year they nested there.
This year, the starlings nested in my dryer vent. I can’t say I was too happy about that since my dryer would no longer dry the clothes … er, well it did, but what normally took an hour to dry took three hours. The washer and dryer were less than a year old, so I didn’t think it was the dryer, and my first inkling that it wasn’t was confirmed as I stood there pondering. I heard the birds. Oh, not that they were chirping but you could hear them walking around. At first I thought they were in my ductwork (directly above my head), but then I realized I was hearing the sound of the expandable “foil-like” hose leading from the dryer to the exterior vent. We called our dryer-guy, who says “yep, there’s birds nesting in there”. He pulled the hose off the dryer, tied and bagged the end so they wouldn’t come into the house, and went to buy a new exterior vent. All the louvres on ours had broken, which is how the birds got in. Before he took out the old vent and hose, I asked him to try not to kill the babies (if there were any) and to relocate the nest right in the foil hose without touching it but, sadly … there were babies and they were already dead. They’d been dislodged from the nest when the hose was pulled off the dryer, and they were crushed.
Funny thing though … I noticed the starlings are nesting in the venting next door now.