Go outside this spring and check out store signs, streetlights, balconies, traffic lights, gutters, downspouts, rooftops, stadium lights, light fixtures, grills, utility poles, potted plants and more! You’ll be amazed at what you’ll find, and be sure to share your discoveries with us!
We are not looking for professional photographers. We’re just looking for interesting stories. We hope that people of all ages will participate, and we accept diverse types of entries like poems or videos, too. Youth are encouraged to submit entries (please let us know that it is a youth entry in the description).
Prizes include a mini-iPad, binoculars, Pennington bird feeders, Inside Birding DVDs, Bird guides, Cornell Lab of Ornithology Membership Gift Packets, Project FeederWatch posters, and much more.
Attention: Before going out to find nests take a few minutes to learn a little about how to observe nests without harming the birds, where to find nests, and common myths about nesting birds.
Pasadena, CA, United States
I was in Eaton Canyon birding in June. Someone pointed out a nest in a dried up pine tree. The bird was in front of the nest and then flew around gathering more material to build its nest. I forgot to bring a camera so I had to draw from memory.
Innisfil, Ontario, Canada
As i strolled through a friends beautiful garden full of song,butterflies and bees. I came across this very unique looking nest box. Heard some movement inside so thought I would check it out. Out pooped a little head. Funny looking bird!! It saw me and took off “flying out to its perch”. Then out pops another little head. Another funny looking bird. Apparently these little red squirrels thought this was a house made just for them. Ridiculously cute!!!
Lewes, DE, United States
Our resident Carolina Wren thought this was just the perfect spot to introduce her young to the world.
Querétaro, Santiago de Querétaro, México
Hummingbird nest in an orange tree in Queretaro, Mexico.
Fenwick, Pelham, ON, Canada
We put the Christmas wreath from our front door in our woodshed in the backyard, intending to burn it during the summer. But when we went to add it to the burn pile, we found a cute, perfect nest had been made in the centre. Not certain what type of bird this nest belongs too (warbler? sparrow?). Be assured we waited until the nest was vacated before getting rid of the wreath!
Pinellas County, FL, United States
We were lucky enough to see the nesting owls who appear most of the time in March at this site. Oftentimes,
an owlet or two is visible and other nesting sites can be found in this park. A great place for birding every time we visit.
Athens, TN, United States
When a farmer decided to take down his fence he left this roll of barbed wire around a fence post. An enterprising Mockingbird made good use of it.
Roosevelt, NJ, United States
Somewhere inside the cranial cavity of this horse skull is the nest of a very small bird (a Carolina Wren, I’m told). You can’t see the nest because the skull is closed except for a hole, presumably where the spinal cord would have exited. But I do see the momma bird going in and out, so I mounted my GoPro above it. Here, they’re feeding the kids an amazing variety of bugs.
Santa Cruz, CA, United States
Our bikes are under some cover in the backyard, and I kept my helmet above them as well. One day I went to grab it and it felt a little heavy, I then noticed a feather and some straw poking out. When I tipped the helmet to look, a Dove flew out. We continued to watch them and last season, the pair had 4 different broods of 2 each. After their last one, we cleaned out the helmet and left it there. This season another pair of Mourning Doves has taken on the nest. They are now on their 3rd brood. I decided to give in to the birds and bought myself a new helmet!
Traverse City, MI, United States
We have had Robins nesting at our house for 20 years (maybe a baby of a baby of the original mother?). A couple years ago, they decided to nest right at the front door. It is a good spot, it is protected from above by a large overhang, the nest is up off the ground on a 4 foot ledge, there is shelter on three sides, and the people who live here are pretty darn accommodating to the disruption that goes on for quite a few weeks! Since, I did not remove the old nest, little Missy Robin comes right in and simply cleans up and adds some new grasses to the old nest, pretty easy I’d say. Of course, it is not so easy for us humans. We can’t use the front door for many weeks. I have to put cloth over the windows of the door (there are two more windows which don’t show in the photo) so that the Robin does not fly off the nest every time we walk through the house and/or cause the young birds to fledge too soon. I try not to switch off an on lights in that area of the house too much for the same reason. Also, since we can’t get visitors at the front door, it is a challenge and we have to ask company to walk around the back of the house. The mail, UPS, and anyone else can’t come too close, so we put out a chair with a sign that the Robin is nesting. They are gracious enough to leave mail and packages out there on the chair near the driveway and don’t even try to get near the door. When we drive in and out of the garage, we have to go very slowly, because this also sends the mother Robin flying off the nest, and often she flies right in front of the car to the tree on the other side of the driveway. This year, we even had to tell a very large asphalt company that we could not have them re-doing our driveway the week they wanted because our chicks were going to be fledging that week!!! Fortunately, everyone takes it in stride and are willing to work around our situation. I think the Robins have put the word out, because as soon as she was done this year, a Cardinal moved into a low ornamental Chinese Weeping Maple tree about 6 feet from the front door and although we can go out the front door now, we can’t walk that way to the garage because the Cardinal flies off her nest every time. However, above all, I love the joy of watching wildlife right outside my front door!
Baltimore, MD, United States
Lakewood, OH, United States
About a month ago I noticed a mourning dove had moved into our hanging fern on our front porch. We named her, Fern. On one day last week I noticed her husband joined her in the fern. You don’t ever see them together. We named him Vern. As I was taking pictures of them, they moved closer together. It was as if they were asking me to take a family photo. I’m so glad I was able to capture such a rare moment. Fern had two squawbs, as you can see towards the bottom of the photo. Had to share this photo! Too cute!
Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands
Birds nest in a chandelier in the diningroom of the open air restaurant at laid back Sorobonne Beach Resort.
Kilauea Lighthouse, Kilauea, HI, United States
Single Wedge-tailed Shearwater chick seen at Kilauea Lighthouse on Kauai in an open nest of stones in a planter box. Chick seemed unperturbed by the many human admirers who kept a respectful distance while snapping away on their smartphones. No selfies, please!
Cheyenne, WY, United States
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, North College Avenue, Claremont, CA, United States
When I first started leading tours for school children at RSABG, I would point out an empty nest that was built among the cholla, and talk about whether that would be a good place for a nest. I asked the children to think about what it must have felt like to be a young bird taking a first flight from that nest. The weather eventually destroyed that nest, and unfortunately I didn’t find another example to show the children, until this spring. This nest was built amid the seemingly terrific fortifications, near a bench that I stop at often. I kept watching the progress, but unfortunately, I never saw any chicks. I suppose I’ll never know if, despite what appears to be a good location, predators raided the nest, or mom met with an untimely death, or … But, until the weather destroys this nest, I have another example to show the students.
Wisconsin, United States
Every year, a bird builds it’s nest over our entryway. We had enough of this mess. Last year we decided to put an end to this, and read a way to positively keep birds from unwanted areas. But she apparently read how to build nests in unwanted areas. WHOOO won?!
Birds are nice
I like birds
Rainbow of colors
Dogs chase birds
Songs in the morning
Nests with eggs
Eating worms all day
Sing songs all day
Twigs for nests
Oklahoma City, OK, United States
A poem written by a 6 year old first grader, who spends her mornings watching birds in her backyard.
Woodhull, Illinois, United States
My family is very interested in Purple Martin’s and providing a habitat for them. I am a science teacher and am hosting a Science Camp this year. My students, and I took a field trips, at my home, to observe the different phases of Purple Martin lives and habitat. This was an enlightening experience for them. Students conducted a great deal of research on the Purple Martin’s such asL predator versus prey relationships, habitat, feeding habits and more.
Findlay, Ohio, United States
I went to play basketball when there the nest was. I looked in the nest and there was no eggs soI had to decide to remove it or leave it. The nest was so perfect I had to leave it. No basketball for a month but I really enjoyed watching these babies grow up. Wonderful experience . (Student submissions)
Chattanooga, TN, United States
I was doing a storm water inspection when a momma Phoebe became quite upset with me. I found out why, when I looked in the pipe! She had three little babies, but because the nest was precariously perched on the dried rubber seal that normally goes between the pipe joints, I did not disturb her. Babies fledged sometime during the week, and I was able to snap a couple photos while balancing on a rock in the stream!
Weatherby Lake, MO, United States
I saw this pair of starlings visiting a tree and decided to film them.
The Old Granite Vase
Up in the valley was an old worn-down nest,
A nest on the old granite glass vase.
Where a chickadee family was nicely dressed,
A family with elegant grace.
The chickadees roamed with a passion for flowers,
On the nested old granite glass vase.
So they picked roses from bushes for many late hours,
Until the granite glass vase was replaced.
A bit odd was this family, but not a disgrace,
Since their nest lies in an old granite glass vase.
No matter what emotion they all have in place,
They still are the family of a. odd living space.
Peoria, AZ, United States
This poem is about a chickadee family who really needs to find another place to nest!
Reston, VA, United States
Rudy M, age 6
Lacey, WA, United States
We observed a pair of black-capped chickadees flying in and out of a hole in the gantry crane in our back yard. This discovery is welcome as Rudy, age 6, my 4 year old daughter and myself have only in the last two years taken an interest in birds. Rudy became very excited about this contest and has practiced drawing chickadees for days. The activity at the nest has decreased in the last 10 days or so. We all hope that our daddy doesn’t discover he can’t live without use of his crane any time soon. How inconvenient!
Manchester, MI, United States
My name is Morgan, and I’m 13 years old. I drew this drawing first with pencil, then went over it with pen. The drawing is of a cat trying to get to bird eggs, and one egg falls right onto the cat’s paw.
St Charles, IL, United States
My series of nest paintings are done as symbolic family portraits. This painting was done for a family that is supported and surrounded by music. I was inspired by seeing the guitars hanging on the walls and thought the “cutaway” on this Taylor guitar might be an interesting place that a bird might select to build a nest.
Bolsa Chica State Beach, Huntington Beach, CA, United States
A female Anna’s hummingbird is seen just as she returns to her nest with two very chubby and hungry chick anxiously awaiting some food.
Camarillo, CA, United States
This Allen’s Hummingbird is one prolific mama! She built this nest in a windchime on my front porch for her fourth set of “twins” since January. Her latest pair of eggs was laid on May 5 & 6. She must have decided her previous nest in the ficus next to my front door (barely 2 feet from the windchime) no longer met her quality standards after successfully raising 6 beautiful babies in it. (She had also reared 2 sets of twins in a different nest on the same branch last year.) I’m thrilled she apparently finds my home an ideal location for baby-raising, because watching her attend to her broods so faithfully — and seeing the little ones grow and fledge — is truly a privilege!
Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, Honolulu County, HI, United States
While away from my home at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, a white tern laid an egg on my bicycle seat and canaries built a nest in my bicycle basket. The white tern egg eventually rolled off the bike seat and didn’t hatch, but the canary pair were able to successfully fledge 3 chicks. I borrowed another bike to ride while the birds used mine for several months. Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge is part of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument which is jointly managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the State of Hawaii, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Maryland, United States
We own a marina and live on the property. First shot of momma on anchor nest before we removed it. Every year a mother Robin picks a boat anchor to nest on. The boats are on land for winter storage. Unfortunately every year the owner wants his boat launched prior to babies fledging. So we have come up with a method of removing the nest, and relocating it near the boat on a hand made platform just for her. We launch the boat, and a little while later momma lauches her babies. Never had a problem.
Lafayette, LA, United States
I snapped this photo at a recent annual flower garden tour. This dove was discovered nesting on a ledge at a homeowner’s patio. The homeowners placed a ladder in front of the nest, with a note to tour participants not to disturb the ladder, due to the nesting bird. This precious bird sat dutifully on its nest despite the 90 + degree heat, and a rally of admiring spectators ( who, by the way, were very quiet and respectful of the dove’s presence.)
This added touch to the Garden Tour was the most heartwarming aspect of the day.
Next to our deck there is a spruce tree
And in it one spring a robin we'd see
She brought in some twigs, grass, and some weeds
Then built a nest for her up coming needs
Four blue eggs she laid, which later did hatch
Both parents then fed them with whatever they'd catch
Then a tragic thing happened without any warning
A cat found the nest early one sad morning
The four young were gone; too small to fly
We hope these same robins, another nest will try
If you have a cat: please keep it inside
'Cause baby birds can neither: fly away or hide
Finlayson, MN Spring 2015
Finlayson, MN, USA
We have seen this unfortunate event happen not only to this robins nest but also to a bluebird house nest. At this exciting time of renewal and rebirth, its sad to see this loss done by a well-fed predator not needing to kill for survival. CH
Santa Cruz, CA, United States
These chickadees must have heard the nursery rhyme “there was an old woman who lived in a shoe” since they obviously felt right at home in this cowboy boot bird house. After thoroughly investigating every birdhouse in my garden, on April 6, 2015, they began carrying nesting material into the boot. By April 22, I could hear the chicks peeping and watched the constant parade of parents carrying insects to the chicks. By the end of April, I could hear vigorous wing exercising in the boot and occasionally see a tiny face peering out. Within a few days, all chicks had fledged. Now, the parents come regularly to the sunflower chip feeder hung in a tree, then stuff the seeds into the mouths of their 3 begging wing-quivering offspring who are perched on nearby branches.
Welland, ON, Canada
These photos are taken over the front door of my art studio on a Main Street in my city. They are nested in a sculpture I’ve hung over my door of a black lantern wrapped with barbed wire and spiderweb patterns (don’t worry, all sharp points have been sanded). These doves started occupying it over two weeks ago, and I’ve recently started seeing their offspring. Photos taken with my cellphone, and a “selfie stick”.
Kamloops, BC, Canada
This is a basket made of screen-printed photographic images on cotton paper. The exterior is an image of cottonwood trees found near my home in the hills above Kamloops. The interior shows an image of a magpie nest.
Alvin, TX, United States
Carolina wren parents selected a clothespin bag inside the garage for their nest site. One night we made the mistake of closing all the doors to the garage and awoke in the morning to an unholy racket as the mom screeched her annoyance at our lack of consideration for her an her brood!
Barn Swallow nestlings
A backlit letter "o" in "1 Hour Photo,"
makes as good a nesting spot as any,
warm at night, recessed
from wind and sun,
and conveniently above
the store's sliding door exit,
where popcorn and cookie crumbs
are spilled by careless
shoppers and their toddlers.
Who would notice the few
wire twist ties, strings, and twigs
jutting from the inside the "o,"
the occasional rustle of dun wings,
or the short commute of flight
from the nest to the nearest hedge
in the parking lot median?
He's said to be a trash bird, average
and greedy, with a plain body,
plainsong, a bird of commerce,
two for a farthing, cheap
as pennies. Passer domesticus,
he's been with us, opportunist,
riding our coattails, sailing in the holds
of our ships, and following our wagons,
a common adventurer, for 10,000
years. He's circled
the world with us. Now he's
an immigrant gone nativist,
an aggressive defender of home.
Little bourgeois bird,
who mates for life
with a few indiscretions,
small garrulous neighbor,
we no longer notice
your persistent cheeps,
your ungraceful hops,
your flash mob congregations.
We no longer see your black
bib and tucker, your
wheat belly, your park bench-
junk food-suburban strip mall-
Unwanted garden variety
bird, so much like us,
living in unremarkable,
and anonymous throngs,
yet said to be treasured
when one of you falls.
Edinburg, Texas, United States
I sometimes wonder whether the traits we most dislike or like in species are ones we see in ourselves. Although the house sparrow is a non-native bird, I can’t help but feel a sympathy for this species that has traveled the world with us and inhabits so many of our human-made spaces, and yet whom we routinely ignore or dismiss.
Morehead, KY, United States
One morning we awoke to discover that a very busy Robin had quickly build a nest atop our wooden statue. Shortly thereafter, she deposited first two, then a third egg in the nest. We have since witnessed both she (we named her Rebirda) and her mate taking turns sitting on the eggs. We do our best not to disturb them and are looking forward to seeing the babies.
A friend commented on how the statue with the nest on its head resembled the Hobbit character, Radagast the Brown.
Geneseo, IL, United States
Took these photos at my brother’s place. He and his wife have this ratty old deer in their yard and one year and owl or something ripped out the throat, trying to kill it, I would suppose! The bluebirds then decided to make it their home. They are skittish so he couldn’t get close but sitting out of sight with a zoom I was able to watch, wait, and snap a few photos. Just happened to capture the bluebird feeding its baby a grub. They were something to watch. Beautiful birds! I talked to my brother the other day and he said he saw that the bluebirds are back and checking out their old home again! It will be interesting to see if nest there once again. I guess there really is “no place like home”…kind of puts a “lump” in your throat, doesn’t it?!
We have two Ovenbirds nesting in a garden desk that is used for holding plants that we are growing from seed. Because it is dark in there I have only seen the nestlings once,but the parents are carrying lots of worms and things-most of them from the garden-to the nest. I guess the nestlings are growing along with the plants!
My grandmother also has a nest in her door wreath. When they were going to clean it out,they found the baby birds and put the wreath back. The babies are OK and have not been abandoned.
Tuscaloosa, AL, United States
Kim Van Nimwegen
Gold Canyon, AZ, United States
A hummingbird made a nest on a bird wind chime, hanging on our desert back porch. It is completely exposed and the fake bird looks very much like a Road Runner, which I find funny, since I think they may be a natural preditor.
Two babies were born and flew away. I had the great pleasure of watching it all.
Cahuita, Limon, Costa Rica
This beautiful rufous-tailed humming bird was nesting right next the steps to a busy dining room at Goddess Garden Restort. The nest is no bigger than 2 inches wide.
Oneida, NY, United States
I was at a car dealership, when I noticed something on a tire of one of the vehicles. I saw that it was a birds’ nest and, when I walked around the car, I noticed the same thing on the next car… and the next… and the next. In all cases, the nest was on the driver’s side tire – and none of the other 3 tires. Amazing. (And I found out that the GM of the dealership was aware of it, and was carefully guarding the car keys so the nests would not be disturbed unnecessarily.)
(The video was created with the help of my 4 year-old daughter)
During the Spring break, we went to Alexandria, VA (April 10-12, 2015). We stayed at Hilton Hotel right next to the metro rail station in Old Town, Alexandria. Our room was on the top (7th Floor), and our window was right next to a giant letter H (for "Hilton"). The top part of the Hilton Hotel logo appeared broken on the top, and in the morning we noticed a pair of starlings rushing past our window. The starlings dived inside the broken part, squeezed out and flew away. Then we noticed that each starling took turns bringing in little bits and pieces - grass, strings, twigs - in their beaks. They were building a nest inside the letter H! On the second day of our stay, the starlings became even busier, started making more frequent trips, bringing in even more building material for their nests. They were surely in a rush to finish up the nest! A pigeon watching the starlings from the roof got us worried but then we decided that the starlings had picked a very good and safe spot for their nest - hidden from the predators, not big enough for larger birds (like pigeons) to squeeze through and create trouble. Good job, starlings, and good luck with your eggs and chicks later on!
Alexandria, VA, United States
I am submitting on behalf of my son, Alex Coln, who is 7 years old. I helped take pictures with my iPhone, but he was the one watching the birds, noticing patterns in their behavior, and worried about the pigeons trying to take over the nest. Alex is a cub scout, and has recently become interested in watching birds and recording which birds he sees every day. Having 2 starlings build a nest right next to our hotel window became an unexpected treat on our trip to Alexandria.
San Salvador, El Salvador
I saw this bird buiding a nest and I waited until the bird had the bird constructed, however I was not able to see if the nest was successfull