CLOSED: Mystery Bird Nest

Clovis, CA(Zone 9a)

I'm so glad this forum is here and I hope some of you may recognize what kind of bird would build this nest. My friend says it was about 8 or 9 inches long and was hanging from a branch in an Arbutus shrub. She was told by several that it was a hummer nest, but it is many, many times larger than several hummer nests I've seen in these parts, all of which were more the size of a large thimble. TIA for your help. Janet

Thumbnail by jcangemi
Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

An oriole, presumably either Hooded Oriole or Bullock's Oriole in CA.


Clovis, CA(Zone 9a)

Thank you Resin, I read the description of the two Orioles in my 'Birds of Northern California', both of which are common in our area and the nest description fits.

Hooded Oriole Icterus cucullatus
Nesting: nest is suspended from a palm frond or a deciduous tree branch; female weaves a pouch of plant fibers and grass with materials provided by the male; nest is lined with feathers, hair and plant down; female incubates 4 eggs for about 12-14 days; both adults feed the young.

Similar description is given for Bullock's Oriole Icterus bullockii.

I now have another forum to frequent and thank you for your help. Janet

Clovis, CA(Zone 9a)

Update on the bird nest in question. Turns out that it is the nest of a Bushtit Psaltriparus minimus. They are more common in Northern CA but there are colonies of them in areas further south, including Merced, Madera, Fresno, and many nests are found in the San Joaquin River bottom areas, according to 2 members of local organization that do bird counts at designated times of the year. This nest was located about 5 ft. up in this tree-like shrub. According to the bird counters, the nests that Orioles typically build are at 15 feet or higher. Their nests are very similar, hence the mis-identification, but Bushtit's are much more intricate, taking up to 50 days to construct, with both male and female working feverishly. Very interesting.


Anchorage, AK(Zone 4a)

Defiantly a Bushtit nest. Orioles build sack like nests. The top on an Orioles nest is open. Where as, in Bushtits nests the top is closed, and there is an access hole, on the side just below the top. The nest in your image has the side access hole, of a Bushtits nest.

Clovis, CA(Zone 9a)

Thanks for the confirmation on the id.

Northumberland, United Kingdom(Zone 9a)

Had a look at some pics, got to agree with Bushtit. I'm not too familiar with archaic 18th century measurements ("inches") so wasn't too sure on what size the nest was, but on digging out the conversion formulae and a calculator, it comes out too small for an oriole nest as well.


Marlton, NJ

Being from the archaic schooled (lol), I have to take a peek at a chart anytime the other is mentioned.

Clovis, CA(Zone 9a)

Ditto on that. . aaarrrrgh! You'd think after having 3 babies I might have an idea of a centimeter??? Nahhhh. Liter, yes, and sorry to say that's about the extent of my metric knowledge. I have to look at the charts too! jc

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