Bird's Nest Centerpiece | How to Reuse an Old Bird Nest

 I was jolted awake by a solid thud followed by a lot of hysterical cheeping. Turns out the robin's nest that Mama Robin had painstakingly crafted on the top of our drain pipe had come crashing down, baby and all. I rushed out to find the nest on the ground with the little fledgling in quite a sorry state lying unmoving on our wooden deck.  

Bless this Nest sign, Spring flower arrangement with daffodils, tulips, virginia blue bells

Ignorant and well meaning me, thought that the best thing to do was to put the baby bird back in the nest. While dodging Mama Robin's dive bombing swoops towards my head, I then quickly shoved the nest in our lilac tree and made a hasty retreat to the kitchen, from where I could keep an eye on the nest.

Turns out that's not what fledglings need. Because no more than an hour after recovering in the nest, the baby birdie fell out again. Rather, 'jumped out' or 'fledged' and then hurriedly scuttled away into the bushes.

The next 2 weeks proved to be the most interesting ever. Apparently, fledglings don't fly out of the nest. They have to jump out of the nest and then remain on the ground for about 10-15 days growing stronger, until they become strong enough to fly. During this time, they are most vulnerable to predators and mortality is about 40%. Yikes, talk about a rough landing and a tough start to life! 

The next 2 weeks, we would watch excitedly with our binoculars as mother robin would swoop in with worms and berries for the baby multiple times an hour. She wouldn't stay long. Just long enough to feed him and then she'd fly to the telephone wire above the garden, where she literally had a bird's eye view of her little one.

Feeding time was most exiting, but there were a couple of close calls with a visiting cat and a racoon that came snooping into our garden.  But luckily, I had the watering hose lying out. So with a quick spraying I sent them running out faster than they came in. Nobody was going to make a snack of our little robin.

As the days progressed, we felt increasingly protective of our little bird. So it was a proud day when we saw the baby flutter up to our bench. And then up to a low tree branch. The next day he went a little higher. It was easy to locate him in the branches as mama bird was still bringing him his meals.

Our happiest... and saddest day was when we saw only mama robin sitting alone on the telephone wire that she always perched on. Something about the way she held herself was different. In an instant, we knew baby had grown up and flown away. Mama robin looked around then looked at us as if to thank us for helping her keep an eye on her baby. And then she spread her wings and flew away. 

Bird's Nest Centerpiece

Baby robin had gone. And all we were left with was his nest, as a beautiful reminder of those 2 weeks.

A bird's nest is a real work of art. I can't imagine how the mother bird with just her little beak,  wove all these strands of straw and twigs into a beautiful bowl shape, cemented it with mud and even waterproofed the bottom of it with a little piece of plastic!

Old robin's nest on table with a heart bird house in background, reusing a bird nest,
A robin's intricately woven nest - a work of art.

Quite amazing. How much of effort she must have made to build her nest. How much of time and energy spent sitting on her eggs, feeding her nestling and then taking care of her fledgling. 

How to Reuse an Old Bird Nest to Make a Centerpiece

I decided to use the robin's nest to make a centerpiece for my table.

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If you look closely, you'll see a little plastic woven into the nest. Modern birds using modern building materials!

1. I found a low, clear glass that fit snugly into the nest. 

decorating with real birds nest, glass inside bird's nest
Find a low glass that fits snugly into the nest.

2. I removed the glass from the nest. 
3. Then, snipped spring flowers (hyacinths, tulips, daffodils), twigs and creeping vines from my garden and then arranged them in the glass. 

Spring flower arrangement, tulips, hyacinth, daffodils
Remove the glass from the nest and arrange the flowers in the glass.

4. Finally, I carefully placed the arrangement back into the nest. And carefully filled the glass with water.

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Place the glass of flowers back in the nest and then carefully fill the glass with water.

Voila! A beautiful flower arrangement reusing an old bird nest.

And the sweetest nest centerpiece to remind us of the little robin and his mother who came to call our garden home fore 2 weeks. Bless them!

Click on my "Garden" label below to see more posts about happenings in my garden.

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