poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘nest

Safe place for a nest

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No surprise to me … a robin has built a nest in the eaves of our house. Eighteen feet above the ground, this is a safe place for a nest. The robin does not think so. When I sit on the deck for my daily cup of tea, the robin sits in a near-by tree and scolds me. He gives a single annoyed chirp. If a robin could scowl, he is certainly scowling.

Written by jane tims

May 28, 2018 at 7:00 am

robin in the rafters and in rain

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If you are a bird, this is the time of year for nest building! An American robin has built a nest in the support beams of our deck. Years ago we had fun watching a robin build a nest and raise a brood in the rafters of our cabin.


This year’s nest builder thinks the deck is his alone. Going in and out by way of the deck gets us a scolding. The robin puffs out its chest and tries to lure the marauders away. I am afraid to go near to get a photo since I might disturb eggs or chicks, so a photo of a robin’s nest in winter will have to do!



Sudden Storm



half darkness

the moon rises

a sliver from full


spaces yawn

liquid robin song


aspen, motionless

poplar tremble

a nuthatch rustles in the leaves


wind chime plays a scale


cloud stretched across the moon

a hand pressed to the treetops

leaves turn to the silver underside


warm splashes

polka-dot the patio

puny dust storms on the step


streamers stripe the glass


curtains of rain



Copyright Jane Tims 2017  

Written by jane tims

June 5, 2017 at 7:00 am

nest of the Eastern Phoebe

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This time of year, I hear a wheezy call in our maple tree.  The Eastern Phoebe has arrived, to build a nest under the eaves of our shed.


The Phoebe makes an appearance in the book I am writing – ‘Crossing at a Walk’.  I have just reached Draft #5 of the writing, a time when I edit for adverbs, sentence length, repeated phrases and so on.  I also work to clarify the plot and the story, making certain my characters are true to their missions in the book.  At this stage, the editing is a bit of a blur.


Here is an excerpt from the book.  The Eastern Phoebe has come to check out the Whisper Wind Writers’ Retreat (the setting for my story). Tom will encounter three Phoebe’s in the book: the shrill ‘fee-bee’ song of the Chickadee in spring, the Eastern Phoebe with its nasal ‘phee-bee’, and the name ‘Phoebe’ carved in the covered bridge …


 I am in our garage, cutting leaves from a sheet of copper for a new wind sculpture. I glimpse a quick flutter outside the window and hear knocking in the eaves.

I put the tin snips down on the workbench and step outside to investigate. At one corner of the garage, up under the edges of the roof, is the nest of a bird, constructed within the last few days.

As I lean to get a better look, the mighty construction worker flies out and swoops up to the height of one of our birch trees.  It tilts its black head and says, in two raspy, out-of-tune syllables, ‘phee-bee’.  The sound is nasal and cheerless, quite different from the bright ‘fee-bee’ of the chickadee in spring. 

An Eastern Phoebe! A charming grey bird with a puffed black hairdo and a dirty white throat. The phoebe sits in the tree and wags his tail. He says, again, ‘phee-bee.’

Every morning in June he wakes me.

‘What on earth is that annoying bird song?’ says sleepy Sadie.

‘You could hardly call it a song,’ I answer.


For more about the three Phoebes, see my post for May 4, 2015 ‘spring orchestra – fee-bee’.



the nest of the Eastern Phoebe – notice this Phoebe has found a few strands of tinsel from our Christmas tree to decorate his home!


Copyright 2015  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

May 27, 2015 at 7:43 am

a nest in November

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On Saturday, we drove to the lake to gather boughs of fir and pine for our Christmas decorations.  While we were there, we poked around in the thicket.  We found a few bird nests, still intact, easily seen now the trees and alders are free of leaves.

The first nest was cup-shaped, made of tightly woven grasses and weeds.  Nests of songbirds are not easy to identify since they are similar in size and construction materials.  If this little nest survives the winter, perhaps I can watch who uses it next spring.

The second nest probably belonged to a Robin.  It was high in a tamarack tree, welded firmly to the branches.  Robins often return to the same area and sometimes use the nest of the previous summer, so I’ll be watching this nest too.

The last nest we saw was a beautiful little hanging basket covered with birch bark and woven with grasses.  It appeared to be frail but it was very sturdy and stubbornly clung to the bough in spite of its exposure in the November wind.  I think it is the most delightful sight I have ever seen.

A biologist with the New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources was able to identify this nest from my photo.  The nest probably belonged to a red-eyed vireo, one of our common songbirds.  I have never seen this bird at our lake property, but we hear it all summer, endlessly asking its question and giving an answer.



Red-eyed Vireo

(Vireo olivaceous)


drab little

olivaceous outlaw

black masked

red eye


can’t see you

can’t find you

can hear you

where’re you?

over there

where’re you?



in November

ghost-self flutters

in birch bark tatters

a basket in the alder

remnant of summer


gone now

what’d ya do?

did an answer finally

come to you?


©  Jane Tims   2011

Written by jane tims

November 30, 2011 at 6:37 am

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