Some birds go to elaborate extents to make a secure nests for their next generation. The Baltimore Oriole is one of those birds.
The tear drop shape is easily recognized as a Baltimore Oriole's nest in America, although other birds worldwide build woven hanging nest.
It's bewildering how this bird visualizes the process to begin with and possesses the dexterity to build this structure.
It surely starts somewhere deep in the bird's mind that straws and grasses are needed. The material must be strong, but of a manageable length.
Wrapping and securing long fibers starts construction. Using only her bill, she weaves and shapes the nest into a pouch.
It takes hundreds of fiber searching sorties for just the right properties of flexibility and strength.
Springy materials expand the pouch near the bottom of the nest to give the female space to incubate eggs.
The male Baltimore Oriole occasionally brings construction material to the nest, but his main focus is protecting the territory from threats.
The search for just the right nesting material is a week-long effort with countless back and forth trips.
There is a reason all this activity takes place in the spring... insects.
Food is plentiful or at least adequate at this time of year. High protein insects fill the air, providing a continuous buffet for the young growing chicks.
Just a few more trips are needed to complete this nest. Already plump and pendulous, a final touch will make it perfect.
(Click any picture to enlarge.)
Soft cottony fibers are provided by the new spring trees. Collected with care and arranged at the bottom of the nest, the female will rest there comfortably secure for
11-14 days... expecting baby Baltimores soon!
Credits: Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds
The Sibley's Guide to Birds