THE SHELL NEST
THE SHELL NEST

Birds’ instinctive and learned artistry in building their nests is a constant source of wonder.

Most of us enjoy strolling along a beach, collecting driftwood and shells. However, for some birds this exercise is necessary to build a home and to ensure their chicks are safe.

This painting was inspired by a Caspian Tern’s nest. Terns are migratory diving birds and make do with very little on seashores and estuaries. They often dig a shallow depression in the sand then disguise their nest with what nature provides – shells, driftwood and seaweed. Tern eggs are especially vulnerable to being taken by gulls and the camouflage usually keeps their brood safe until they old enough to leave the nest.