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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Birds Nest Lecture

Not everything hibernates in wintertime! In these cold months, Hirundo has been hosting some exciting events.  On January 20th, Hirundo hosted its Bird Nest Architecture lecture presented by Jerry Longcore. The presentation drew 23 attendees, despite the University of Maine ice hockey game against Boston College (a big deal in town). UMaine won the game, of course.

Longcore spoke about the different levels birds built nests at, the shape and materials used.  He began from the ground up, thus showing pictures of ground nesting birds, such as the woodcock, ducks, and took us through brambles, offered peaks into the enclosed areas of cavity nesters (chickadee, owls) up to the lofty heights osprey and eagles nest.

Generally, raptures reuse their nest, which are generally built with sticks and branches, interwoven with less stable materials such as moss, rootlets, and mud. Many songbirds, because of the nature of their fragile building materials (thin layers of birch bark, grass, and pine needles) build new nests every year. Longcore also drew our attention to the different colors and markings on the eggs, noting that the eggs of birds who nest in open areas are never white but instead mottled unlike the white/light colored eggs of cavity nesters.

Of course, for more info go to:

Along with watching hockey, drinking hot cocoa and going skiing, winter is a great time to see nests in bushes and trees. So next time you go out look up into the tallest pine tree or in the shrub along the trail and examine the variety of nest constructions!

On a special note, please be advised that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act makes it unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill or sell birds or collect bird nest of the species listed

We are happy to see such a great interest in their Winter Ecology Series and invites all their fans and local visitors to come out and support, learn and enjoy the Hirundo Wildlife Refuge.

As always, look to our facebook page, and our main website for more info on upcoming events!