Recycling is for the Birds

Fishing Line NestI discovered several bird nests suspended from tree branches along the edge of a lake in my hometown. Pendant nests are commonly constructed by birds who specialize in weaving pliable natural materials together to create a place to lay eggs and rear their young. A well built nest keeps the eggs warm and dry while they are incubating, and protects young birds from severe weather and predators.

The unusual thing about these pendant nests is that they are built almost entirely from fishing line. Resourceful birds collect fishing line which they find and use it as their primary building material. These photos were taken in the middle of winter, so any natural materials which were incorporated into the nests could have decomposed, but from what is left, we can see that fishing line was a major component in the structures.

Pendant nest with luresThe nest to the left caught my eye. It just seemed to be more alluring then others I found (pause for a loud groan). I can’t believe I wrote that.

At this point, I do not know what type of bird has built these nests, but I will definitely keep an eye on the area once Spring comes along, and I should be able to discover the identity of this avian recycler.

Birds Nest Collage

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7 Responses to Recycling is for the Birds

  1. Before dutch elm disease came along we had 200+ year old elms on the street I grew up on and Baltimore Orioles used to build nests in them that looked much like those in your photos. They are fruit eaters and hang out where there are a lot of wild fruits available. I never saw them use fishing line though!

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  2. Sue says:

    I agree, they look like oriole nests, but is there more than one in the same tree? Orioles aren’t usually that sociable.

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  3. Finn Holding says:

    Hats off to the birds! Plastic fishing line is really nasty stuff… except when it’s used to build nests. I hope you can post a picture of the inhabitants in the springtime.

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