By Liesl Clark
It’s woven completely with synthetic fibers, delicately interwoven threads that must’ve come from a farmer’s discarded netting. Could the use of plastic fibers be a good thing for the bird family? Undeniably, the nest is a work of art woven so tightly the insides are completely weatherproof. One might call it perfection in plastic, nature’s ultimate reuse, here to stay forever, unlike its natural counterparts. The photos don’t do it justice, but take my word for it these fibers are man-made of polymers.
The nest was found on the ground in a Colorado mid-mountain wetlands, having fallen from reeds or a tree branch above. Is it the nest of a swallow or phoebe? Please let us know your thoughts of if you have any insights. And if you have your own images of birds’ nesting materials that came from humans, we’d love to see them. We’re currently looking for an occupied nest near our home that we can monitor for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s program called Nestwatch. If you spot a nest this spring, watch it and report your observations back to Nestwatch to help them gather more data on our resident birds.
Like our feathered friends, we humans can be resourceful too! Please visit our Trash Backwards app where you can input any item and find a reuse for it. Try fabric scraps, for example, and you’ll get results that will make you want to hold on to those scraps for a rainy day project: