The Column

Dangling Nests

I grew up believing nests were a circle of twigs with a scooped-out middle to cradle the eggs. Brazilian birds think differently.

September is a stunning period to road trip Brazil because of the not-at-all-pastel blossoms. In this season, the Ipê Amarelo splashes gold on central Brazil’s horizon. It’s a spectacle. Scanning the yellow canopy above though, something else that dangled below, caught my eye.

Very twiggy.

Very dangly.

The Guaxe’s nest is an intricate jenga of sticks. It hangs up to half a metre long and is hooked on a tree’s low-hanging branches.

The whole nest sways slightly in the breeze, yet it holds firmly on.

This tangle of twigs is the pride and joy of the Guaxe, whose offspring swing obliviously within.

What self-confidence this bird shows in its own engineering and what faith it has in a gentle breeze.

A nest is rarely for life. Often, it’s for a season and a need and a little messy. Like the Guaxe’s. But it secures you in that breeze or perhaps that hurricane. Then the winds change and you move and build a new one.

Your own tangle of branches, just as good, maybe better, swinging in a new season’s breeze.

Guaxe's nest dangling from tree branch in Brazil.

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