Everything grows old, even trees. There’s a great old willow on my neighbor’s property, at the water’s edge, that’s been dropping limbs.

The arborist says that willow wood is brittle by its nature; when the tree gets old and top-heavy, its time to trim it back. Well, it’s been trimmed back several times, now. Let’s hope this is the last, because it’s a shell of its former self. It’s still with us, though, still a presence.

This Baltimore Oriole nest was on one of the branches that the arborist’s team cut off this week. A team member kindly presented it to me. It belonged to an oriole pair that has enlivened our corner for several years. I hope they won’t be put off, and will come back to build anew next year.

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3 Responses to Oriole Nest*

  1. Robin Mirollo says:

    Couldn’t find anything specific to Oriole’s preference for a colorful nest, but I did find another person’s close up photos of an Oriole nest that had been brought down in a storm and wouldn’t you know there were strips of blue plastic tarp woven throughout. The female is the nest builder and she uses grass, moss, pine needles, etc. to weave an intricate basket suspended from two thin branches. The inside is lined with downy materials such as moss, animal hair and even dandelion fluff. The Oriole will often scavenge nesting materials from other Orioles and recycle materials from old nests, so Ron you might want to leave the nest in a place where it can be repurposed in the spring.

  2. Jim Fett says:

    A wonderful bird’s nest–looking forward to the soup! -“The Neighbor”

  3. Robin Mirollo says:

    How lovely and cozy looking. I’ve always admired the Baltimore oriole nest. When I lived in Rhode Island, we had a returning pair of orioles who’d built their pouch-like nest high in a poplar tree. It looked so precarious, yet it was securely anchored to the branches. Your photo brings to mind how both my maternal grandmother and mother liked to leave colorful yarn and ribbon on the bannister in the spring in the hope that birds would choose them. It’s fascinating that birds like to weave bright strands into their nests. Why would they do that and what is the meaning? Is it simply decoration and why would they choose to make their nests more conspicuous rather than camouflaged? Now I’m motivated to do a little research. Thanks, Ron, for sharing the wonderful photo.

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