Fan Out to Find Funky Nests!


Annual contest seeks unusual nesting sites

Dawna Van Overschelde of South Dakota found this robin’s nest built on a wooden fence.

ITHACA – It’s time for the “Funky Nests in Funky Places” contest held by the Celebrate Urban Birds project at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. With breeding season in full swing, birds are in a flurry of nest-building or may already be raising chicks—but birds don’t always build in the places you might expect. People have discovered bird nests in boots, grills, flower pots, traffic signals, fence posts, rakes, old tires, and all manner of assorted odd places.

“If there’s a funky nest in your neighborhood, we want to know about it,” said project leader Karen Purcell. “You can send in a photo or video, write a story, produce some artwork or a dance—use any creative way you can think of to show or describe a bird’s nest in a funky place.”

Many prizes are being offered, including binoculars, regional bird-sound audio guides, waterproof field guides, bird journals, bird notepads, and bird game cards. Children’s picture books by Henry Cole and the book “Sparrow” by Kim Todd will also be awarded.

How to participate:
1. Email your entry to
2. Write your FirstName_LastName_City_State_FUNKY2012 in the subject line
3. Include your address in the body of the email
4. Please explain where the photo was taken and the name of the bird if you know it
5. Read and agree to the terms and conditions of the Challenge

The deadline for entries is July 15, 2012.

See examples of past entries for funky nests and other bird-inspired challenges.

Celebrate Urban Birds is a free, year-round citizen-science project focused on birds in neighborhood settings.