A Surprising and Disturbing Discovery: Part 3


In Part 1 of this series, I showed photos of the bird houses in my back yard and the nests I found inside of them. I questioned why one of the nests almost filled the bird house. I also wondered why the big one had a flat top leaving no place for a nesting female and her eggs.

In Part 2, I relayed that readers had informed me that it was a wren who had built the big nest and I shared information I had learned about wrens since my first post. In addition, I wrote about what I found when I took that nest apart.

In Part 3, I will share microscopic photos of all ten of the nest’s components and then let you know why I still feel disturbed.

(Note 1: The numbers near the photos below correspond to the numbers at the top of this post. Note 2: You can click on the galleries to enlarge the photos.)












While I love the beauty the microscopic photos revealed, there was one material that greatly disturbed me. That was item #10, plastic. I was dismayed to see how much plastic was in the nest when I took it apart.


I know that birds, fish and other creatures can get sick if they eat plastic. Here is a photo that was taken of the contents of the stomach of a dead albatross at Midway Island.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

I have to wonder if the fact that this wren’s nest had a top on it was because the bird was sick from eating plastic and its brain was not working correctly. There is no way to know.


Shared with Senior Salon and Lets Create a Fine Chain…

25 thoughts on “A Surprising and Disturbing Discovery: Part 3

  1. So sad, Karuna. I have seen plastic as well in nests that have fallen in winter and come apart. This last discovery adds an interesting element to complete the story but leaving us wondering. Your three parts told us a very interesting but serious story.
    On another note, your photos are so amazing…the details, wow! Do you have a special lens on your camera or are you actually using your Iphone? Really lovely!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hello there, I have to say really good investigative work. I have been introduced to your blog by a fellow blogger, your work is amazing keep it up. I am not an expert on wildlife but that does look like a wren’s. Also I know some birds like to build nests on top of other birds nests but I don’t think that applies to your bird house. I really enjoyed your work and Happy Blogging! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it is a wren’s nest. Interesting that some birds build on top of other nests. I didn’t know that.

      Thanks so much for your very kind words. I love writing these kind of posts, and the mysteries that usually precede them!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Jumped over from the Senior Salon
    Very different from the posts I read in my usual hops around the net – as fascinating as it is disturbing. Plastic! Perhaps the least incendiary word to describe the lack of humanity in far too many people. Thankfully, there are others who are concerned about the planet on which we live – although it is tragic to see that America’s current “leader” doesn’t seem to be among them.

    Thanks for sharing.

    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

      1. So far, thinking about this week’s news about his visit to Stockholm and the riots that followed, he seems to be merely spending more time spreading his rabble-rousing finger pointing elsewhere – inciting anger toward immigrants when he visits.

        A truly hateful man who still has FAR too many supporters for us to be rid of him anytime soon, I fear.


  4. Plastic is a scourge. My father died of mesothelioma – asbestos specific cancer. The asbestos fibre lurked unseen in his lungs for decades and then struck. Plastics do the same to our wildlife. One of the things that horrifies me most is humans just discarding plastic wrappings and bags seemingly unaware of the harm they are doing to creatures they actually like to share the world with. Ignorance is a terrible issue. That and governments deciding to gloss over the truth and let greed rule the roost.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I find that I find plastic in almost every shovelful of dirt I look at in my yard or in the Greenbelt. My awareness increased when I helped to found the PNW Litter Project.

      Seattle was one of the cities that banned the use of plastic bags in grocery stores. That has helped decrease new plastic litter a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was horrified when I arrived in Massachusetts where I spent last year. I could not believe the sheer volume of plastic bags being dolled out by the packers. I rebelled and did what I do here in France and took my own recyclable bags for my groceries but I got some odd looks 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. A lot of people in the Pacific Northwest use recyclable bags even if they are in cities that still use plastic. In Seattle, if people don’t bring their own bag they have to pay 5 cents per bag to get a paper bag.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. You, my friend are the veritable investigator. I truly wish that we had a way of doing completely without plastics. I use recyclable bags for shopping and I totally agree with making people pay for the bags – not as if that will stop it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No it doesn’t stop it. Even outlawing the plastic grocery bags doesn’t stop it but it helps. I’d like to get to the point where I don’t use products that are packaged in plastic but I’m not there yet. Sometimes doing that it seems near to impossible.

      Liked by 1 person

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