#CreatingConnection – Surprise Sparrow Nest

The wonder of discovery.

You never know when or where you might make an astonishing nature discovery!

In the summer of 2021, Nature Alberta and Edmonton’s Root for Trees teamed up for a family-friendly tree-planting event in a grassy field adjoining a neighbourhood development. Arriving on site early to set up, Nature Alberta Program Coordinator Steph Weizenbach noticed birds coming and going from a particular spot in the field, between the tree-planting area and a space the families would be seeding with native plants. Investigating, she discovered a tiny savannah sparrow nest among the grass, no more than four inches across and filled with baby birds!

She placed a folding chair above the nest to make sure it wouldn’t be accidentally disturbed. This event had just taken on a new dimension of discovery!

Throughout the event, Steph took families in small groups for a look at the nest — a “close encounter” while maintaining a respectful distance. Every face, from preschooler to grandparent, went wide-eyed with wonder. One of the kids noted how every time a shadow crossed the nest, the baby birds would stretch up and open their mouths wide. Perhaps the first observation of a budding naturalist!

What a wonderful experience, especially in the middle of an urban setting. Nature Alberta’s own founder, Dr. Tim Myres, was inspired to pursue a career in conservation biology by a childhood encounter with a bird’s nest. Who knows what the kids at this event might go on to do, inspired by this once-in-a-lifetime encounter!

Your support of Nature Alberta’s outreach programs makes these amazing, inspiring moments possible. Please donate today to help us keep #CreatingConnection.