Outside our bathroom window, there's a sporadic cheeping, high and light enough that I might not even hear if I weren't paying attention. Every so often, the tiniest of birds darts up into our tree with a wee bit of something in its beak--string, fern, needle. In a miraculous display of dexterity, especially for me so dependent on fingers and opposable digits, it places the something just so, re-tweaks the other somethings around it, wiggles around, shapes the emerging nest with the whole of its bitty body before darting off for more.
Two bushtits have been making this nest for at least the last three days. That's when I first noticed, anyway, but if the next few days' worth of progress were any indication it was already pretty far along when I first saw it. If I remember correctly, it can take them up to two weeks to complete a whole nest, which looks sort of like a hanging sock when it's done and is held together primarily by--ready for this? It's held together primarily by spiderwebs.
Since I don't want to bother them--especially in the first stages of nest-building, many birds will abandon their work if they're disturbed--I've been doing a lot of peering through our bathroom and bedroom windows. With my binoculars. Hopefully not in a manner which will be misconstrued by our neighbors. It may be a little ridiculous how much time I've dedicated to watching this nest develop, but how often do you get to see this kind of thing?
On the other side of the house, there's a pair of crows engaged in much the same task. Again, for the last few days, there's been a constant back-and-forth to the top of the biggest tree out the front window. Being larger, the crows are carrying sticks instead of pieces of string and moss. They'll weave them all together into a much more pokey sort of nest than the bushtits' soft sock. But the outward process seems the same. Fetch, return, place, fetch, return, place, again and again and again with infinite patience.
I love the feeling of being surrounded by nest-building. Though the weather may not feel like it, the birds know that spring is here, and they're settling in around us. I love that we can share our space with them:)