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Bare Branches Reveal Summer Secrets

(credit: Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

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By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Trees with bare branches can be such a pretty sight all through winter – as a dark silhouette against the sky, encased in ice, outlined by a powder-sugar dusting or frosted with a thick coating of snow – all of which they’ve seen so far this season. But deciduous trees also give you a chance to see things you might easily miss when they’re full of leaves.

Think back to spring and summer. If you often hear birds singing or see them flying in and out of trees near you, winter is the perfect time to go for a walk and see if they left a nest behind. Leave them alone – you never want to disturb or remove a bird’s nest in a tree – they make good shelter for birds during winter storms and some will be reused to raise babies in the spring.

Some, like crows’ nests, are high up in the trees, but closer to the ground, you’ll often find leftover nests from robins or cardinals or other feathered friends. Each is an amazing work of art crafted of twigs, leaves, grasses, fur, along with odd bits of twine, plastic and other things they find in your yard, including dryer lint.

Go take a walk and see what the birds have built.

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