I’m used to Goldfinches chattering away as they move around in small flocks from one feeding site to another. A lone bird hiding in a tree must mean there’s something special about that tree.
A nest. Small shrubs and trees in a generally open
field are heavily utilized as nest sites by many bird species. The nests are difficult to see while the
leaves are on. In early winter, when the
leaves have all dropped, the nests are quite conspicuous.
Pappus is the fluffy
material attached to the thistle seed that allows the seed to be lifted by the
wind and carried to distant locations.
The tall thistle species are just beginning to bloom at Blue Jay
Barrens, so they are not yet a source of pappus. I believe this nest lining came from the
shorter and earlier blooming Pasture Thistle, Cirsium pumilum.
I’ve seen active bunting nests and this
matches what I’ve seen before.
When they are small, the trees serve a
valuable function as nesting structures.
Fortunately, there are always new volunteers coming along to take the
place of those specimens I remove.
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