day 222 – four bird’s nests

When I decided to start collecting birds nests I happened to off handedly tell my dad about my new quest. He thought it was a bit weird and said so, and I paid him no mind. A day or so after our conversation, he called me and asked if he had ever told me about his maternal grandfather and his bird nest collection… I said that he hadn’t. He went on to describe a grandfather about which he remembered very little, except for the aviary at the back of his house and the room full of altered cigar boxes which housed nests and egg specimens upon the dozens. My dad said he remembered the lids to the wooden cigar boxes had been removed and replaced with glass, taped on with thick black artists tape. My great grandfather had carefully noted the date and location of each collection and the type of bird who created the nest. I was so eager to see what sounded like an amazing treasure trove of nests, hoping that some cousin somewhere had a basemen full of untouched boxes. Sadly, the collection had been donated, sold or lost except for a few pieces which are now part of the California Academy of Science’s collection. I have yet to make a date to visit what’s left of my great grandfather’s collection, but I love that I have a relative who had the same desire to collect these precious objects of nature. These are four of my favorite nests from a rather large and growing collection I started a few years ago.

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3 Comments on “day 222 – four bird’s nests”

  1. so cool that your grandfather collected something that you enjoy too!

  2. Matt Wetzler says:

    Such a great post. For one, because you developed an interest in something your Great Grandfather enjoyed, but also the fact that while much of the collection is gone some of it is preserved at the CAoS.

  3. Its interesting because I have a connection with someone I never knew, my great grandfather. My Dad’s father was a painter and although I never knew him either (he died when my dad was 21) I have a connection to him as well because of painting… it makes me wonder if collecting and art practice are somehow genetically predisposed 🙂


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