Waterfowl, songbirds leave empty nests behind

Print Article

  • Photos by Don Bartling The bare late fall landscape gives us an opportunity to get a closer look at empty nests, all of which are constructed from a variety of materials.

  • 1

    Osprey usually return to the same nest each year, which is typically made of sticks, twigs and grass. The Osprey pair typically add to the nest each spring. This nest is west of Bonners Ferry beside the Kootenai River.

  • Photos by Don Bartling The bare late fall landscape gives us an opportunity to get a closer look at empty nests, all of which are constructed from a variety of materials.

  • 1

    Osprey usually return to the same nest each year, which is typically made of sticks, twigs and grass. The Osprey pair typically add to the nest each spring. This nest is west of Bonners Ferry beside the Kootenai River.

“The lark that shuns on lofty boughs to build, her humble nest, lies silent in the field.”

— Edmund Walter

In Boundary County the warm colors of autumn have been replaced with the browns, grays and tans of the approaching winter landscape. Evergreens, out-dressed most of the year by flamboyant trees, stand out. The skies are quieter. Most of the waterfowl and songbirds have left for their wintering grounds.

Trees bare of leaves may look lifeless but, like other living creatures, they are merely in a dormant state. Naked trees also unveiled last year’s nests. Bird nests — woven from grasses, leaves, twigs, feathers, string and other debris — still attached to tree limbs tell much about their inhabitants.

Trees in later fall no longer hide wildlife from our view. A red-tailed hawk, perched on a bare branch, is easily spotted.

Most of us have seen a nest or two, either perched in a leafless tree or lying on the ground after an especially bluster day. Typically used only once for a brief span of time, these nests are essential for breeding and require tremendous amount of energy and time to construct.

Birds’ nests are obvious in late fall. What were leafy forms and dense thickets are now merely a few branches, often revealing the once secret spot where a bird built a nest, then raised its young.

Most birds build or rebuild their nests each year. Some large raptors like bald eagles or osprey, use the same nesting location and simply do home improvements to the previous year’s nest. Other birds build a new nest from scratch each year, as the old nests will typically not make it through winter. However, recycling materials from previous nests or building on top of an old nest is not uncommon in the bird world. Birds that build nests in tree cavities come to mind for this kind of behavior.

Osprey usually return each year to the same nest, which is typically made of sticks, twigs and grass. The pair often adds to the nest each spring, which can result in huge structures exceeding six feet in diameter.

It is not very natural to think of nesting birds in December, but it certainly is far easier to see the empty nests when the trees are without leaves!

Print Article

Read More Outdoors

Mountain ash: Brightening winter in Boundary County!

January 17, 2019 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald Driving around many neighborhoods in Boundary County through the fall and winter, you’ll find yourself brushing past clusters of showy orange berries, hanging down from the limbs of mountain ash tree...

Comments

Read More

The ‘chicken hawk’ with a red tail!

January 10, 2019 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald “Anyone who has ever stopped to watch a hawk in flight will know that this is one of the natural world’s most elegant phenomena.” — John Burnside Recently I was driving on a picture safari in the ...

Comments

Read More

Brrr... irds! How our feathered friends adapt in the winter

January 03, 2019 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald Some North Idahoans dread winter and, if they have the time and the means, will travel to warmer parts of the country to wait it out. Others enjoy the cold temperatures and can’t wait for the first s...

Comments

Read More

New Kootenai River burbot fishery to opens for anglers Jan. 1

January 03, 2019 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald Idaho anglers will once again have the opportunity to fish for and harvest burbot in the Kootenai River, its tributaries and Bonner Lake starting Jan. 1. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission recently a...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 267-5521
Po Box 539
Bonners Ferry, Id 83805

©2019 Bonners Ferry Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X