Thursday, December 14, 2006


What are those twigs doing to the left of the main nest. Hoping for neighbors? Besides, in the right light you can see a bare interior. Will they do something about that eventually?
Over the past week or so I've been in a number of discussions as to whether the Manhattan Monks were done with their nest. Having never watched wild parrots before, I automatically compared them with the hawks that I've watched nest building the last few years. Perhaps not the best idea upon reflection. After all, think about the huge difference in behavior amongst avian species. Expect the same behavior from House Wrens and Emperor Penguins? I don't think so.

Then there was my other problem, the word "nest". Why is nest a problem? Why does it give me such a niggle? Probably because of the number of times every hawk season that the hawk watchers have to explain to visitors that a nest is used only for eggs and young. It's not a house; the hawks don't sleep in it year round.

What to do?
I contacted our local wild parrot expert Steve Baldwin of

And what did he say a Monk domicile is sometimes called? A Monk-bunker!
I do like that.

As to my questions concerning whether the Monks were done? Would they twig the metal above and the building behind their current twig confection? What are all those "extra twigs" on the fire escape and to the left side of the main Monk-bunker?

Here's what Steve had to say-

I'm not sure if the monks will keep the steel ceiling of the nest bare. It's possible that they will: they do this a lot when they build a similar nest under a transformer, but I think this is because the transformers typically are warm.

There appear to be several stages to "monk bunker" construction. Twigs seem to be brought up, and then stuffed into place, during what is essentially an extended fetching session. Later on, their position is refined and trimming work is done. It may take a while for this bunker to look neat. There are, after all, only two birds doing the work.

And someone needs to keep a look out full time for that Red-tail that periodically glides by. D.B.

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