As noted in Part 1, I try to get a quick look into a bird nest when the incubating adult is absent. Here are a few more photos from my small bird egg collection. Each of these species begins nesting in April.
NOTE: The bird photos were taken by Margaret Weber.
Killdeer breed in Eliza Howell Park regularly but in small numbers, probably no more than 2 pairs most years.
Killdeer nest on the ground, in an open area. The nests are out in the open but they are incredibly difficult to find. The “hide the nest” principle here is camouflage. Even when I know the area they are using, some years I totally fail to find the nest, no matter how long I look.
Northern Cardinals are quite common in the park, often seen near the edges of wooded areas.
Cardinals build their nests in shrubs or in vine thickets, usually only a few feet from the ground, difficult to find and difficult to get close to.
Cardinal nests are one of many nests used by the Brown-headed Cowbird, which lays its eggs in the nests of other species.
The smaller egg in this nest is a cowbird egg.
Eastern Bluebirds nest in natural cavities in trees, in old woodpecker holes, and in bird boxes. This picture was taken of a nest in a box in Eliza Howell last year.
It had only been in recent yeats that I have confirmed bluebird nests in the park and their numbers are small.
American Robins are the most common nesting species in Eliza Howell, so common that I don’t attempt to keep a record of the various nests I see.
Robin eggs are probably the most recognizable bird eggs – “robin egg blue.”
Robins are ubiquitous, nesting in forest openings, in orchards, parks, yards, and other placrs. They usually nest from 3 to 25 feet high and I try to locate one low nest each year, so I can watch from nest building to fledging.
Even though there is no marsh in Eliza Howell Park, Red-winged Blackbirds are another regular nesting species. In the absence of cattails, they make nests in shrubs, trees, or tall grass. This nest was in a shrub in a wildflower field.
There is a reason for the poor quality of the nest picture. As I approached the nest, the adult male came swooping down to drive me away. I was in a hurry and it shows.
The female Red-winged Blackbird (pictured above) is not always recogized because she looks so different from the male.
The location and nature of bird nests and the colors of bird eggs are enormously varied and fascinating to observe. I continue my search.