poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘red-eyed vireo

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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