Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Exterior Decorating

Well, then, my darlings. You got the last nest without breaking a sweat. In my quest to give you a challenge, we’ll try this one. Not only is it a nice nest, it’s in a lovely location.


Obviously, this isn’t a recent shot. It’s from last spring, when the flowers were creating botanical clouds and there was actually more than five minutes between rain storms. There were birds, and I in fact have shots of one from the spring before, which may or may not be related to the nest. You shall have it soon – but first, we’ll see how superb your nest identifying skills are.


I love spotting nests. Sometimes, they have got baby birds in them, and that’s delightful. But even when there’s no bird present, they’re a marvel. I love these marvelous little constructions, built by dinosaurs. It’s amazing what the little buggers can do with beaks and feet. I’d like to see us build our houses with only our teeth and our toes.


Phenomenal view. Makes me wish, to some degree, that I was small enough to fit in a little tree-house with cherry blossoms waving overhead. I’d love to lie back gazing at the patches of blue sky through the flowers. At least I’d like it up until the next rainstorm came in…

Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Exterior Decorating
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9 thoughts on “Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Exterior Decorating

  1. rq

    Crow. I’ll elaborate later, but I see them all the time (or at least, something very familiar), and it belongs to crows (grey ones, here – the mysterious, hooded crow).
    (And I have some fantastic crow-baby photos, if you want them, sitting in a similar nest. From a couple of years ago.)

  2. 2

    I never knew what crow nests looked like – that solves some mysteries as to the identity of several old nests around my neighbourhood.

    As an aside, finding birds’ nests in winter is a lot of fun. It’s shocking how many are right over driveways or in front of windows, yet went undetected when the leaves were on the trees.

  3. 4

    I’m far from a nest expert but relative to the flowers it seems to small for a a crow.

    The flowers, btw, are likely a flowering plum, I think.

  4. 5

    I have a tree that is partially dead and last spring was just about to cut some more of the dead branches off when two crows, very likely a pair, showed up and started stripping bark off the branches, presumably to line their nest with. As with many things crows do, it was quite an undertaking.

    Large dead trees can be very important nesting sites for a lot of birds. “Authorities” should always be discouraged from removing dead trees from parks, unless they pose a safety hazard or harbor disease. It can be a bit of a struggle to make people understand this, though.

    I agree with Trebuchet, it does look a little on the small side for a crow, though the west coast crows are pretty small compared with inland crows (and positively dainty relative to Polly-want-an-eyeball ravens).

    Magpies build a nest similar to a crow’s nest, but with a “roof”.

    Don’t know if they’ve already appeared in the dinosaur threads, but a Baltimore Oriole nest is pretty cool, and often much easier to stop in leafless trees. It is a hanging basket or pouch of soft material built up near the very tops of trees. If you have nesting orioles around, it can be fun to put out pieces of string for them to take to use in their nests.
    Bullock’s Orioles make similar nests.

  5. rq

    I’m sticking with crow. Because magpie nests are quite a bit more elaborate, and actually larger, than crow nests. Crows don’t need giant nests, they need a place to lay eggs, and if they’re doing that within the confines of a sheltering tree, they don’t need high walls or a large amount of space (and also they’re on the lazy side of nest-building birds, from traditional folklore – not as lazy as the pigeon, but close!). Usually there’s only one sitting in the nest, and once the hatchlings are larger, both adults are in constant search of food.
    And yes, the oriole nest was up a couple of posts ago; a very cool type of nest, for those who aren’t prone to seasickness. :)

  6. 9

    It doesn’t look like an intact or complete nest . Likely an effort by NW crow or possibly a small hawk? It looks a little too elaborate to be Band Tailed Pigeon.

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