Home > Photojournal > 2000 > Winter/Spring


I noticed this bird nest in an apple tree when I was walking to class this morning. I never noticed it before, but I suspect it is from last year, since it seems a bit early for a bird to have already built a nest this size. It seems pretty amazing to me that a bird can build a nest out of mud, grass, and sticks and have it last well after the bird is done with it. Maybe it should not be so surprising, but I tend to think that the rain would make the mud start to disintegrate at the least. I wonder if birds build again every year, or if they come back to the same nest and just fix it up. I imagine it depends on the species of bird. If anyone out there reading this knows, let me know.
Update: A helpful e-mailer informed me that this appears to be a robin nest. Furthermore, except for some species exceptions, most birds do not reuse nests from year to year.

I find the contrast of the nest and the brick wall behind it to be somewhat intriguing. In a sense, both serve the same purpose, but they are so radically different in design. To my eyes, the nest is a chaotic amalgamation not unlike what you might find in a gutter after a good wind and rain storm. The brick wall is, like many things humans build, a structure with inherent order that is hard to miss. I wonder which will is more durable in terms of the ratio of man/bird hours spent constructing to the length of time they last. My first inclination is to say the brick building because it will undoubtedly last many decades or perhaps centuries (unless it gets torn down). However, thinking about the huge number of man-hours that gets put into constructing a building, including design, construction of materials, and the final assembly causes me to reconsider.