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A delight from Queensland

Recently Kate emailed me to ask if I wanted a nest. Well, who can resist a nest? Probably plenty of people, but not me!

The story behind the nest is that an olive backed sunbird created this nest by suspending it from the fairy lights right by Kate’s backdoor. Kate had the delightful task of keeping the nest, bird and eggs safe. You may remember her blog posts about it, where you can also see a photo. It is an amazing creation, especially to be made by such a tiny thing.

Yesterday the nest arrived, safe and sound, because Kate had packed it so well.



And this is my new treasure


Not everybody’s cup of tea, but I love it. The muted colours, its fragility, its construction (how does one little bird create such a thing, especially as only some parts look like they have been woven) and the little additions, like the feathers and paperbark (must be from a melaleuca!)

My mind is buzzing with creative ideas. Maybe even oil pastel?? In October there is an exhibition of natural history subjects, and this little sunbird nest could be just the subject for me! I will keep you posted.

So many thinks to Kate for thinking of me. She is such a generous soul, and my world is richer for knowing her.

23 replies on “A delight from Queensland”

So glad it arrived safely 🙂 To answer your question elsewhere: I think the little reddish brown bobbly things are seed pods from something. They actually look a lot like dried-out mulberries, and we have a mulberry bush in the garden, but the birds don’t let the fruit stay on the tree long enough to dry out! I’ll have a poke about and see if I can identify the source, but of course, the bird could have brought them in from anywhere! Have you put your finger inside the little nest door and had a feel? It’s so incredibly smooth and soft in there. Almost makes me wish I was a baby sunbird!

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I must have a feel inside! It’s construction is a mystery. I read a book about birds as architects, but haven’t retained very much of the info. Looks like I will need to go back to it.


I think from memory they sling long fibres over whatever they’re building on, and then build out from that. I think the feather lining goes in last. I do love the little ‘canopy’ over the entry, it’s a feature of every nest and is rather important in our climate to keep out both sun and rain.

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A well constructed nest! I have ablackbird in my garden who twice has found large bits of plastic to incorporate in her nest. I wonder, this must be deliberate. Does it make it drier / warmer?


That’s an interesting thought, Cathy. I am going to do some research into nests, so if I come across anything that can help answer it, I will let you know.


I too love nests so I can relate to your joy, Anne. It was lovely of Kate to send it you way. I’m intrigued by the detail created by one tiny bird, with no hands or opposable thumbs. From instinct, they create a dry, warm, well-hidden home for their family. It’s extraordinary.


Nothing like a good natter, so let's have a chat!

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