Decorating With A Dirty ol’ Bird’s Nest

About 3 years ago a cute little Robin landed on my porch.  I named her “that Robin out on the porch”.  Oh, how I loved that bird.  Low and behold she

Stupid, mean, bird

was building a  nest.  I watched that little birdie for hours!  This was before Twitter and Perez Hilton when I actually had to go out of doors for entertainment.  I’m awfully pasty now by the way.

Fast forward a few days to when “that Robin out on the porch” is sitting on her eggs and has a complete freak out fit every single time I open the front door.  I was a prisoner in my own home.   I couldn’t sweep my porch, couldn’t arrange my cute porch furniture, couldn’t wipe down the mailbox (kay … I really only do that about once a year, but still) until those little birds hatched and flew away. This was really taking the swish out of my Spring.

By the end of it, I hated that bird.  Then, you know what?  As soon as the chicks hatched and flew away, that dumb bird did it again.  A WHOLE other cycle of egg laying, hatching and sitting.  The whole incident resulted in me eating a lot more chicken out of spite.

The one good thing to come of the whole bird ordeal, was I now had a really cute looking bird’s nest nestled into the climbing hydrangea growing  up the side of my porch.

Fast forward to a week ago when I saw this post featuring a bird’s nest on Design*Sponge (they’re my new best friends by the way, partly because they featured this reupholstering post of mine.)  Over the next few days I noticed bird’s nests everywhere on design blogs.

So, now I had to ask myself … is it TOO gross to go outside and grab the poop filled bird’s nest from my front porch and bring it inside.  In what I thought was a hilarious move, I even “Twittered” my question.  Get it?  Twittered about the bird’s nest!!    Yeah, no one on Twitter got the irony either.  So, I decided What the hell.  It’s not like I’m going to wear it on my head or anything.  And I brought the bird’s nest inside.

After a quick cleaning, I ended up with a perfect springtime decoration.   And the perfect springtime revenge.  Stupid bird.

Under a glass dome left over from an antique clock … kindda like the Design*Sponge recommended lamp.  Blue eggs I bought at Dollarama.


  1. Meg says:

    I am so happy to find this site. I have a heart-shaped bird’s nest that is at least 25 years old. I’ve always kept it in a heart-shaped metal basket that I had. Corny, I know. I’ve always kept it up high, in my bedroom; afraid that someone would handle it too roughly and it would crumble. I would love to display it where it would be seen. The glass dome seems like the perfect idea.
    The story behind it is the reason it means so much to me. It’s from a little maple tree in my parents backyard. A large branch from the tree was interfering with their clothesline. (Yes, they still had a clothesline.) After a bit of prompting/nagging from my Mom, my Dad finally grabbed his saw and went about sawing the branch from the tree. The branch fell, and as my Dad was sawing it into smaller pieces to dispose of it, he discovered the little nest. He was really distraught, but we we’re all relieved that there were no eggs; and it actually appeared to be “new”. There was no poop or any other indication that it had been “lived in”. It looked pretty fresh. So other than the poor bird who built it having to start over, it seemed there was no real harm done. My Dad speculated that the shape must be from the nest being built against a vertical branch. Picture that branch being in the V of the heart.
    So this one little nest is a wonderful memory of my Dad and Mom and the backyard where we had so many good times at our house on the hill. My Dad and Mom have passed away, and the house has since been torn down; but I still have that little bird’s nest. :-) Anyway, thank you!!!!

  2. Lisa S says:

    Yay!! I took a bird nest down today after the last baby fledged. It was actually 3 nests, stacked one on top of another. So it needed to come down. But we just watched a family of robins build that third layer of nest and raise a little family. I brought it inside and saw mites on my hand, so out it went. But I REALLY want to decorate with it. I’m so happy to read the suggestions! Not gonna lie, I’m itching just thinking about the mites. Guess the house will be cleaned from top to bottom tomorrow morning.

    The comments on this post are as amazing as the the original post! Loved this! <3

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Lisa S – Be careful with the mites! I’ve done fine by putting nests in the freezer for a week or so but spraying it with a heavy duty bug spray will help too. Doing both of course would be even better, lol. ~ karen!

    • Joanne Kim says:

      Ahhhhhhh! Thank you for sharing about the mites! And nooooooo!

  3. Marjorie says:

    Amazing a bird’s nest would have brought us together, however briefly. The magic of the Rattlesnake dance, perhaps? Ironically, it turned out to be my warning totem after all, in some the strangest ways.

  4. BJ says:

    I cleaned out my bluebird houses and found 4 nest in one….of course stacked one on top of the other. I separated them. Put them in a cardboard box and put them in the microwave for 1 minute…. then waited a few minutes and microwaved again for 2 minutes. Think any critters inside are no longer.

  5. These are so pretty. I should invest more time in thinking up decorations. Now I have a few more ideas for my dirty o’l bird nests!

    • Karen says:

      Barbara – There’s another unoccupied one one on my porch I’ve been eyeing. Looks good on the porch though, LOL. ~ k

  6. Marti says:


  7. Kaye adams says:

    I always have a nest and red bird on my Christmas tree. Now I know some things to display them throughout the year. Thanks

  8. Laura M says:

    I have two birds’ nests. One from a robin family that nests under my upper deck every year and one from a family of finch that nested in the old Christmas tree I had leaning upgainst the back fence. I was “going to compost the tree one day..I promise…soon” Anyhoo, the robin’s nest is HUGE and heavy – I had no idea this family bulit a mud foundation for their nest! The finch nest is soooo cute and petite.
    I’d planned on “baking” them in the oven for about 20min at 200 degrees to kill off any icky bugs. Then they’re going on a silver tray in front of my livingroom window.

  9. Elizabeth Adams-Eilers says:

    Hi Karen,
    I found a bird’s nest blown out of a tree several days ago. It was perfectly intact. It’s made of mud, grass, twigs, and is now slowly disintergrating. Do you have any advice about how to keep it intact? How to make it solid enough to place on a pine tree wreath? I have a permanent (fake but definitely real-looking) pine wreath in the hall with pine cones, and I thought it would be an interesting addition to the look in a Victorian house the has nature themes in stained glass and wood decorations.

  10. Pam'a says:

    I still have a cute little nest that I found in France, oh, fifteen years ago. Cute, because it’s made of bits of moss and lichens (I guess even birds have good taste in France). Anyway, I stuck it in my luggage and hauled it home in a plastic bag. ‘Never considered a possible infestation, and I was waaay less careful than you were, Karen. So I think you’re golden.

    And go figure– I put eggs in mine, too.

  11. Parakh says:

    I just found your blog via D*S mention! Love it! I have been noticing this nest obsession as well and wonder if it’ll be the new ‘chandelier’… I have a few nests around the perimeter of our house and was spooked by the ‘poopiness’ of them….but I think after reading your post I will be brave and decorate a corner of my house with one of them…(I have to admit I am relieved about the last line of your blog about where the eggs come from…birds ARE annoying….but still!!)

    • Karen says:

      Hee. No … I wouldn’t wring the neck of a little bird and steal it’s eggs. Not at this point in my life anyway. I’m sure I’ll get crabbier as I get older. Just clean the next out and do what another reader suggested … stick it in a plastic bag and shove it in the freezer for a couple of days. That should kill anything in there. It’ll make you feel better anyway!

      • Francois-Xavier Kirby says:

        You are wise young lady. Thanks.

      • Marjorie says:


        I can’t believe I found you, after almost 30 years! I’ve been living in Hawaii for the past 13 of those years, after leaving my ranch in CA.

        Your son went to school with my little sister Dawnielle. You almost convinced me to eat escargot, until I bit off its ass and sent it flying across the table at the French restaurant! Fond memories! Remember the Ojai Pet Hosp? I haven’t been since Dolores’ death about 5 years ago. Sis has 2 boys now, the youngest just a few months old! She just turned 40. I recognized Stephan’s name and remember him, which led me to you. Hope you and your family are all well.

        With love and aloha!

        I hope you are well. You were a kind presence in my life. Fare well my friend.

      • Francois-Xavier Kirby says:

        You honor me with your memories. It is beautiful how time stretches out while the planet seems to grow smaller. You remain a kind presence in my life.

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Rick! I made the bold choice to just bring the thing in and not worry about it. Of course it was encased in a glass dome so I wasn’t too concerned. However, a previous commenter noted that putting the birds nest in a bag and placing it in the freezer for several hours will kill the mites! – karen

  13. Rick Mikulski says:

    How did you sanitize the nest before you brought it indoors? I’m concerned about mites, etc.

  14. Uncle Shifty says:

    Everybody should forget about the damn robins. Leave ’em alone. Let them chirp or whatever they do. There’s a REAL bird problem out there: pigeons. What are they good for? Nothing. I say we stamp them out. Once we’re done with them we move on to gulls.

    • vicky torrey says:

      and Grackles….omg…they’re like a cross between pigeons and gulls – only with louder voices. Unlike pigeons and gulls, they congregate by the hundreds anywhere they darned well please, ground, trees, wires.
      Back to nest, try putting the nest in a bag and freezing it. That’s supposed to kill the critters.

      • Karen says:

        Thanks for the freezing tip Vicky! I actually do that when those wormy moths get into my wool sweaters. I never thought to apply the same principle to my birdsnest! Oh and Grackles? They’re a scary, scary bird. Ech.

  15. Sparky says:

    I found a lovely bird’s nest on the ground after a big summer storm while visiting my Aunt in Florida. We sprayed it with insect killer spray, then let it air out on the porch for a couple of weeks. I have it hanging in my front foyer along with a large tree branch hung from the ceiling, a robin’s-egg-blue sign with “Nest” written in script and a decorative shelf sconce with a metal wire bird’s nest with a giant turquoise polka-dotted paper mache’ egg from Mexico in it. I kinda like birds and trees and nests and such.

  16. This turned out amazing! I would have been worried about mites… ick. How did you clean it?
    Is your dollar store actually called “Dollarama”?

    • Karen says:

      Hi! I chose to ignore the mite possibility. Mainly I didn’t think of it in all the excitement over getting a new spring decoration inside the house. It’s under a dome anyway. But I guess mites are quite small, aren’t they. Hmm. Oh well, it’s done now! I just cleaned it out with paper towels, but I’m sure you could spray it with a disinfectant. And yes! Our dollar store in Canada is called Dollarama. It has reallllyyy good stuff.

  17. Karen says:

    Hi Liz! You CAN do anything. Maybe not exactly perfectly … but … perfection is totally overrated. Kind of. :)

    • Kristin says:

      I’m so glad you got the eggs at Dollarama; I was, for a moment, shocked that you might have taken viable eggs that the little mama robin was coming back for. I should know you better than that.

  18. Liz says:

    Oooh, i love it. Hi! I found you through D*S and immediately fell in love with your blog because of the phrase “Yep, you can do anything!” (or something like that, clearly i am paraphrasing).

    I too wondered how you got the eggs. I thought perhaps that was going a bit far in the avian revenge stakes.

    Liz x

  19. Tricia Rose says:

    Your robin reminds me of those irritating women who think Fertility bestows Precedence.

    Which is the Ivy League Idea, having a back door or having a champagne glass?

    • Karen says:

      That is a WONDERFUL quote. The Ivy League idea I was referring to was to actually use the BACK door. :) Oh! And I also have the boob champagne glasses (bad for champagne, but I love the classics) and I’m going to try your idea of putting a little birds nest in it! Once I find a little bird.

  20. Tricia Rose says:

    Do you have a back door? Or did she just dive bomb you every time?

    Love the nest, the eggs (won’t ask how you got them) and the cloche. I have a nest in a champagne glass (the sort modelled on Diane de Poitier’s breast), I’ll dust it off.

    • Karen says:

      Crap. I DO have a back door. Where were you a couple of years ago with your Ivy League ideas?! Oh! And I updated the post. I got a whole bag of mini eggs at The Dollar Store!

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