Now’s a good time to start looking
With winter on its way out (technically speaking) and with spring not too far in the future, this is a good time to hone your bird biology skills. This is a great time with the trees striped of their spring finest to find old bird nests. They are easier to find now while trees are bare compared to purt near impossible to find when trees and shrubs are all leafed out. Nests like this cup nest of the Western Wood Pewee is a good example. Nests might be no more than tatters right now depending on how well they were built and the severity of winter. But they’re darn easy to find now and that’s how you develop your skills in finding active nests in spring.
Once you find that dried up, beaten, abandoned nest, how to you know who once lived there? You get yourself a copy of Nests, Eggs and Nestlings of North America or a Bird Nests, Eggs and Nestlings of Britain and Europe with North Africa and Middle East and you do some homework. I find it kinda fun, a bit of a challenge to be sleuthing around now but I get anxious waiting until spring comes along to have an answer. That’s all part of the game though.
I’ve only been able to safely photograph a Western Wood Pewee nest once in the last decade though I find many of them each spring. But it’s one of the things I truly look forward to each spring, the challenge of finding a nest I can photograph and then, tell its story in a click. Can you tell someone is getting fed, and very happy to get fed in this single click of the action? There lies the challenge and one of the many rewards of wildlife photography!