Lowcountry residents who are interested in nature often spot an unusual flower or bird not necessarily common to our area.
Such was the case recently when Nicole Zimmer of Okatie found an odd-looking nest in an odd location. She took photos and wrote to us to ask for help in identifying the bird she saw inside the nest.
Here is what Zimmer wrote:
“I have an adorable cute little bird who decided to make a home in a bush beside my garage.
“I thought at first that it was a dead piece of wood that had fallen from surrounding trees … the nest is entirely made of lichen!
“The little momma, when she saw me pulling on a branch to reach for it, warned me I was in her territory. But I had bent the branch enough to see 4 or 5 little pink heads down in the nest.
“Momma went over them to protect them and as I was sweet talking to her, she became more relaxed and stood up out of her nest.
“I thought maybe your readers would be interested and maybe one of them could give me its name (pine warbler?).”
After our response and offer to help learn about the bird, Zimmer wrote back with her discovery:
“A friend whose father loves birds told me what it is … It’s a white-eyed Vireo, a small singing bird – and I seem to have plenty in my forest.”
Zimmer said she didn’t take more photos because she “just wanted to be respectful of that poor Mom that I probably stressed a little by being a little nosy.”
Zimmer’s discovery came about as she was preparing a watering system on her patio so her plants and garden would survive the heat while she was away for a few days. “And in doing so, I was cleaning by my garage when my eyes were suddenly attracted by what I thought to be a piece of wood fallen from the surroundings trees,” she wrote.
It was the vireo’s nest.
Zimmer said she later “adjusted the watering accordingly so it would not go on her little birds.”
Zimmer said she also spreads seeds on her patio for all to enjoy. Among her other, regular sightings are “cardinals, blue birds, morning doves, cowbirds, woodpeckers and even my regal male and female painted buntings! Black crows and squirrels too.”