Walking the prairies this morning, I found a bird’s nest on the ground. That would have been fun, but not really newsworthy, except that it appeared to be a robin’s nest. I can’t think of any other bird species around that lays blue eggs in open cup nests except dickcissels, and dickcissels haven’t arrived yet this spring. I think the eggs were too big for bluebirds, and both bluebirds and starlings lay blue eggs in nests placed in tree cavities (or nesting boxes). In addition, there was a robin hanging around the area…
I’m sure it’s not the first time it’s happened, but it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a robin nest on the ground. Maybe our efforts to keep trees from encroaching on our prairies have been so successful that robins can’t find trees to nest in?
…That’s definitely not the case, though it was ironic that the nest was placed right at the base of a small Siberian elm tree that had been top-killed by a prescribed fire this spring. I’m not sure what the bird’s actual rationale was for nesting on the ground, but I wish it luck.
Unfortunately for the robins, it looks like I wasn’t the first to find the nest. A few feet away from the nest I also found an egg that had apparently been removed from the nest – and it had a hole punched in it. Cowbird, maybe?