Attraction to the Nest: Avian Inspiration Featuring David Attenborough and Weaver Birds

Leave a comment

May 7, 2015 by katmcdaniel

Human language reveals a positive connotation between bird’s nests and human homes and families. Why do we identify with birds?

Human families generally don’t build their own houses, so we are often fascinated by birds that forage materials and weave or construct their own nests, from the simple robin to the mighty eagle. There is a great deal about self reliance and sufficiency to be learned from nesting birds. When our house flooded a few years ago and my husband and I decided to do the renovations ourselves, we found strength and stability in being able to master the skills required to put things back together and improve them. As Thoreau suggested in a quote that I posted earlier this week, available here, working like birds to build our nest restored our song, even as it was hard work. Frequently we needed to repeat a project a few times before we got it right. To quote a Russian proverb that I heard recently, “The first pancake is always messed up.”

Video via unreality’s channel on YouTube.

Birds that nest, such as the South African Weaver birds introduced by David Attenborough in the classic clip above, are an inspiration for their skill, craftsmanship and persistence. They are also masters of timing. A successful bird knows when to build a nest and where it will be safe, how to care for their babies, and when it is time for those babies to transition out of the nest and become their own birds. As advanced as the human species is, we don’t possess the depth of instinct that many birds do. I think we’ve always been a little in awe of them.

Where humans mold the landscape to themselves, resulting in a disruption of and disconnection from nature, birds know how to live in their environment, capitalizing on its strengths and adapting themselves for survival. Exploring their understanding of nesting can teach us a great deal about sustainability and resilience. We can go back to the symbol of the nest, which stands for home, and modify our own behavior.

Birds are perhaps the most obvious nest builders, but insects and other animals build nests too. What do we have to learn from the ant colony, the wasp nest and the rabbit warren?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Experiencing the world through the arts and creativity.

Our current theme is perseverance.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,316 other followers

Fractured Atlas Member

SYNKRONICITI is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of SYNKRONICITI must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Donate online here.
%d bloggers like this: