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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Your Funky Nest Could Win a Prize

Credit Victoria Jostes 
 If the words "funky nest" make you think of that first apartment you decorated in eclectic thrift store style, think again. Consider the possibility that birds might be just as creative and original as humans when it comes to giving a home some personal touches.

I remember when my grandfather discovered a robin's nest built on the tines of a metal rake that hung on the wall of his barn. That earned him a photo and story in  the hometown paper. But you might do even better.

If you happen to have a similarly comical or interesting avian abode in your own backyard, consider entering to win prizes and online publication in the "Funky Nests in Funky Places" environmental challenge sponsored by the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology. It's all part of their Celebrate Urban Birds project.

"We've had such fun with this challenge," said Karen Purcell, the project's leader. "The theme really struck a chord with people. You wouldn't believe how many people showed us bird nests in barbecue grills, garages, garden tools, and signs. We've seen bird nests on statues, wind chimes, a cannon, and even on bathroom fixtures. I can't wait to see this year's entries!"

I wish I'd taken a photo of the nest a little bird built in one of my hanging fuchsia baskets years ago. I discovered it, to my horror, when I reached my watering wand up higher than I could see, to give my plants a drink. Instead, I gave a very surprised bird and its eggs an unappreciated shower. When it came to choosing real estate, that birdie was all wet. Like the experts say, it's "Location! Location! Location!" Be sure to keep your eyes open for unique residences in your own backyard. I'm sure that somewhere here in Tacoma a bird is building a funky nest in a funky place right now.

You can learn all about the contest here and see photos of last year's entries. Have fun and good luck!

Credit Kathleen Petter
 Copyright 2011 by Candace J. Brown
All rights reserved.

Photos used with permission from Cornell University Lab of Ornithology

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