I rarely use my front door. The backdoor is just so darn convenient, being closer to the driveway and all.

Yet the mailbox is out front so once a day I pop open the front door to stealthily reach around the doorframe and grab the mail out of the box attached to the house. I don’t generally step foot on the porch. But the other day, I ventured out onto the stoop to retrieve a package and I found THIS:

Bird droppings. LOTS of them.

One’s first inclination when observing a big patch of poop should probably not be to look up. But that’s what I did.  And I found not one but TWO bird nests:

One nestled above the pendant light fixture (the source of the poop patch) and another resting carefully on the ledge of the doorframe.

I haven’t been lucky enough to spot the mama birds, and it’s unclear to me if eggs have been successfully laid or if any chicks have hatched and fledged. I’m not a very good front porch naturalist, it seems.

Got ideas? I’d appreciate your help figuring out who ‘owns’ these nests. Share your thoughts in the comments section of this post.

And although it might be too late to participate this year, next year I’ll get my act together and sign up to be an official participant in NestWatch, a citizen science program dedicated to monitoring bird nests (and their inhabitants), organized by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

In the meantime, I’ll be living vicariously through the live-stream of the Great Blue Heron Nest Cam: http://www.livestream.com/cornellherons

[Courtesy of Cornell Lab of Ornithology]

Watch live streaming video from cornellherons at livestream.com