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I figured I would start a thread about bird nest photos. Bird nests and eggs have interested me since I was a lad and one of my mentors was an eminent oologist. This past Saturday during a shorebird survey (at the Yawkey Wildlife Center), my friend Chris Snook discovered a Seaside Sparrow nest. Chris is a Brit and a very sharp ornithologist. Seaside Sparrows are a rare and declining species that live their entire life in tidal salt marshes along the east coast of the USA. They weave nests into marsh grasses, above the highest tide line - although full moon tides and easterly winds sometimes conspire to flood their nests. The clever sparrows have learned that grassy dikes and aquatic grasses in the ricefields are tide-proof. So they nest in higher concentrations in some places with suitable habitat. We were walking down a dike between two tidal impoundments - former ricefields now managed for wildlife. On impoundment was full and one was drained as part of the management cycle (and to provide great foraging habitat for migrating shorebirds). Here is a view of the dike - the nest location is in the lush green grass on the right side of the dike. After I passed by, Chris saw a Seaside Sparrow fly up out of a lush stand of Spartina patens marsh grass. She had waited until my back was to her - clever! Chris made note of the spot, looked and saw it had a nest with four eggs in it. Seaside Sparrow nests are one of the most private, secret things in the birding world. Here is Chris taking a photo of the nest Just after that, Chris discovered two Red-winged Blackbird nests only meters away from the Seaside Sparrow nest.
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