Have you ever thought about where birds get the twigs they use for their nests? I always assumed they picked them up where ever they've fallen, loose on the ground or some other surface. But this female cardinal showed me another way they gather twigs. She caught my eye because she was fluttering, hanging upside down and moving around in an odd way. Odd, that is, until I saw the twig in her mouth.
She was working on breaking this twig, gnawing it, pulling it, using her whole body weight. It took a lot of energy and even a pause in between efforts, but she did succeed and promptly flew away with it in her beak.
I wrote in my sketch book, "I marvel at the work it takes for a bird to build a nest. If it takes that much energy to harvest one twig, imagine building a whole nest!"
Visit Vickie Henderson Art to see more images of this cardinal and 'twig harvesting'.