I spotted a Baltimore Oriole’s nest in a tree this week, hanging high up from a branch. Their nests strike me as a true work of art. Cornell Lab of Ornithology says:
Baltimore Orioles build remarkable, sock-like hanging nests, woven together from slender fibers. The female weaves the nest, usually 3 to 4 inches deep, with a small opening, 2 to 3 inches wide, on top and a bulging bottom chamber, 3 to 4 inches across, where her eggs will rest. She anchors her nest high in a tree, first hanging long fibers over a small branch, then poking and darting her bill in and out to tangle the hank. While no knots are deliberately tied, soon the random poking has made knots and tangles, and the female brings more fibers to extend, close, and finally line the nest. Construction materials can include grass, strips of grapevine bark, wool, and horsehair, as well as artificial fibers such as cellophane, twine, or fishing line. Females often recycle fibers from an old nest to build a new one.
I am always amazed seeing how the nest looks almost crocheted together- woven together and hanging from a branch, strong enough to withstand the elements so high up. I spotted a Baltimore Oriole for the first time last Spring, and was able to capture a few shots. Their stunning orange standing out in sharp contrast to the surrounding green foliage or blue sky.