Saturday, April 26, 2008


As Beth and I walk each day we observe the natural world along the Fanno Creek Trail. I am not a "birder"—don't keep a list, nor am I very knowledgeable about birds, but I love birds and I've been curious about the birds we see along the trail.

A couple weeks ago another walker on the trail pointed out this amazing nest, built in a swinging blackberry vine that trails over the top of the golf course fence.

Can you see it? It is made from moss and lichens and hangs on the vine like a pouch with a small hole near the top. The first time we saw it we also saw the female bird going into and out of the hole. The walker who alerted us to the nest also gave us totally erroneous information about the kind of bird that made the nest! That sent us to our bird books and the web and we, Beth and I, concur that it is a bushtit. (OK, stop your snickering—this is serious science here!)

image taken from a web site

They are tiny, darty little birds that we have been seeing whizzing around the trail. I'm glad to know their name and I am really enchanted with the nest.

Audubon's bushtit with the distinctive nest


  1. I will not snicker about bushtit
    I will not snicker about bushtit
    I will not snicker about bushtit
    Oh hell...I can't help it-talk to ya later.

  2. Anonymous10:18 AM

    How fun to see the nest and it's occupants. Perhaps you'll have a chance to watch them raise a family over time. Before we moved we had phoebes who nested on our porch every year. They made a mess with all the mud spatter of nest building and excrement, but to watch them raise their brood, sometimes twice each spring was worth it.

  3. How lovely! I hope you can watch them closely. The name comes from the old English "tit" meaning something very small and "bush" to indicate they are found in bushes (as opposed to open country or rocky ledges, etc.).

  4. Thanks to Dee and Del, the comments are ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime!!

  5. it's magical to see beautiful things like this nest. nature is still the best artist.

  6. Hi! May I use the picture of the nest in the blackberry? I want to illustrate this article:

    We're trying to get people to stop hacking down the thickets birds need to build their nests.