Annual contest seeks unusual nesting sites

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 already may 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.”

Entries may be submitted in categories such as “cutest,” “funniest,” “funkiest” or “most inconvenient.”

Celebrate Urban Birds is offering a free, downloadable flyer showing some of the places you can look for funky nests in urban locations, based on entries to past contests.

Many contest prizes are being offered, including Celestron binoculars, Pennington bird feeders, Inside Birding DVDs, Diversity of Animal Sounds compact discs, Cornell Lab of Ornithology membership gift packets, Project FeederWatch posters and much more.

To learn more about how to participate, plus terms and conditions, visit

The deadline for entries is July 1.