Nest Map

Finding bird nests is something typically reserved for late autumn, when fallen leaves reveal summer’s hidden treasures. But I’ve been lucky this spring. Bluebirds and trees swallows took up residence in nest boxes we put up in April; a robin returned to a nest used last year on an upstairs window ledge; I spied a pair of cardinals making their nest in a hemlock bough; and, just last week, I caught sight of an American redstart as it landed and disappeared into a tangle of shrubbery at the edge of the woods– a tell that led me to discover its well concealed nest. I know there is a lot more nesting going on in the surrounding woods and field, but it may be autumn before I am able to add more to the map.

click to view larger

Tips and Techniques– I love making maps and find that it is an excellent way to learn and record information. I made this one so I would have a reference for future years’ nesting activity on our property. I used Google Maps to sketch the aerial view– it’s a great tool for getting the basics of the landscape geography you want to record. Once I had the map laid out, I added the nest, using a photo of the actual nest so as not to disturb the birds. I had been hoping an egg or two would have already been laid, but because I was a bit too early, I decided to add the eggs for each bird as a separate element. I used the Princeton Field Guide Nest, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds by Paul Baicich and Colin Harrison as a reference, as well as an atypically oblong robin’s egg found abandoned near our driveway.

32 Comments on “Nest Map

  1. Jean this is so lovely. You are obviously loving and thriving in your new home. I am so enjoying your Drawn In postings. I hope that I’ll be able to attend the next time you do a workshop at the Maine Audubon in Falmouth. I’ve recently discovered it’s only about a 40 minute drive from me in Windham. Happy June Sherry André

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Thanks so much Cheryl! I am loving our new home and I’m grateful to be here. It’s like living in a sanctuary! So much to learn, explore, and steward. Maine Audubon is a great place for classes. I don’t have anything scheduled at the moment but watch their program listing. Enjoy June!

      • As I admired your beautiful work, I was thinking that a crow better not find it — they seem to attack all the nests around here.

      • We do see crows occasionally, but not often. They seem to prefer the agricultural field down the road. We do see other predators though: Cooper’s hawk, Great Horned and Barred Owls for starters.

    • Thank you! I’ve been drawing since I was a child, but like most things, drawing well takes practice, study, and affection. I’m sure you could draw if you decided to pursue it.

    • Thanks Maureen. The map will be a good reference in future years to see if the same birds return to the same spots and to build out a picture of the birds on our property.

  2. A lovely page with so much information. The nests I have been given have been found on the ground and I can only guess (and research) as to what bird it belonged to. Some are quite obvious and others are still a challenge

    • Yes–it’s much harder without the bird for confirmation! I have no doubt that I will find other nests later in the year and those will be trickier to id. It’s incredible to be able to watch the nesting process from egg laying to feeding young to fledging.

  3. Thanks so much for your tips and techniques. It is so helpful to try to apply in my own journaling. Thank you!

  4. I loved this one Jean!! I want to do a map or two with you !



  5. This is very appealing; I’m a map lover. 🙂 I like your mix of scale and use of the field guide for the eggs. A Redstart! Oh, lucky you, they are so beautiful.

    • I do feel lucky about the redstart. I haven’t seen the male, but the female is an understated beauty. I just like knowing they are here, even if I don’t see them much.

  6. I am always inspired by your work, and the bird, egg, nest drawings are my favorites. Thanks so much for sharing your work!

  7. I just love coming here. This is SO lovely!!! And I’m absolutely flipping over Your new header picture! At least I think it’s new. Anyway…wow. Thanks for the joy You just gifted! Cheers!!! 😊

  8. Pingback: In the Brambles | Drawn In

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