How to make a trumpeter swan nest…

  This is the finished nest that I arrived upon after 7 different prototype tries…(not the first picture below, the second one…)here15 rolls of 1/4 inch Sisal rope, woven using a simple monkey chain knot while wearing simple jersey gloves, I used a 43 inch diameter hula hoop as a frame while weaving…You can lay straw on top of this…The previous examples you see here in this post are from before as I tried to figure out how to do this…Some new ideas I have about this are: lay wood chips on top, pour Aragonite sand underneath as a nice base…Any contributions to this idea are more than welcome…It is a work in progress…I would love people all over the world to come up with artificial swan nest designs, & for these ideas to be shared, so that our biggest waterbirds can have places to rest…To be honest, my primary goal was really a safe, warm place for them to sit on land, not as much a nest in the sense of a breeding place…There seems to be a growing lack of nesting materials & nice places, nice habitats, for swans to just sit on near our shores- I just want to make them a little happier…Some people just put out straw- this is fine of course, but in windy places like where we live, straw blows away…
Ok, this is prototype number 7 artificial trumpeter swan nest…alot better than number 1 eh?Update above! Number 7 try at making the nest!…43 inches diameter, 15 rolls of 1/4 inch sisal…GroveCanada says:

 

 

 

I’ve updated my design ideas…Yo can see them at http://www.grovecanada.ca in the Blog section or on Instructables…
Nest for a Trumpeter swan: –  http://sarigrove.weebly.com/1/post/2011/12/nest-for-a-trumpeter-swan.html

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-Trumpeter-Swan-Nest/

1) Go to Canadian Tire or your nearby local hardware store & buy 3 rolls of 50 ft. 1/4 inch thick Sisal ($3.00 each) total $9.00

2)While at the store also pick up one roll of 550 ft. “heavy duty” Sisal (which is thinner than the 1/4 inch stuff & costs $5.00 a roll) total $5.00

3) Take a piece of the 1/4 inch Sisal & measure out enough to make a circle that is around 4 feet in diameter (between 3 & 5 feet in diameter)…

4)Knot your circle so that now you have a circle of 1/4 inch Sisal…

5) make a monkey chain knot from the end of the Sisal after the knot (the part still connected to the rest of the Sisal)… http://funditor.110mb.com/wiki/index.php/Monkey_Chain_Knot

6) Weave your Sisal using the monkey chain knot, from one end of the circle to the other end of the circle,

7)keep going doing that monkey chain knot, weaving your loop back through chain you have already made so you start creating a web…

8)Just keep going weaving through chain, weaving that monkey chain knot, use up all 3 rolls of the 1/4 inch Sisal, then switch to the thinner Sisal using the same monkey chain knot to fill in gaps in the bigger Sisal chains…

9)When you feel it looks nesty enough, stop…

10) Place nest somewhere near a lake or pond, in tall grasses or tall reeds or tall bullrushes or on an island in winter when the pond is frozen & you can walk out there, & attach it to whatever brush you find so it stays in one place…(tuck the tall reeds through some of the edges of the nest)…

11)Pour 18Kilograms of wild bird seed onto your nest…The Trumpeter Swans will find it…

12)Make another nest, this time you will do it better…Keep making them…keep putting them outside…Sisal is biodegradable & environmentally friendly…I have tested this nest in the field & waterbirds like it & are happy to sit on it…(Note: Sisal has usually been treated with a tad of nicotine which acts as a pesticide-this is fine & will actually keep waterbirds warmer in the winter, initially before it washes off…Total money spent on one nest $14.00 or less because I only used half the 550 ft roll of sisal, so more like $11.50 total)…

Pre-Caution: p.s. “Trumpeter Swans will often nest on top of a muskrat or beaver lodge…!”(I got this idea from the TTSS website FAQs…To be honest, I spoke to someone who grew up on a farm in Pickering named Bert, who told me that the beaver family on the tiny island were very territorial & definitely still living there- my mum said they hibernate most of the winter, & someone from the Philipines who comes from a big family suggested that it was probably NOT a good idea to put nests near to a beaver lodge- so perhaps what the TTSS means is that swans or other waterbirds may nest on an ABANDONED beaver lodge, not an active one… (Bert & I did walk out to the beaver lodge on the ice-but on second thought I don’t think this is the best idea…!) While the ice on your pond is frozen, you can walk on the ice out to the beaver lodge island & place & attach your Trumpeter swan nest-they will discover it later…(bring some wild bird seed to put in the nest if you want)…(again word of caution-maybe not the brightest idea I have had lately)…

Update Sat. Feb. 5, 2011: Easier recipe for making a trumpeter swan nest: prototype number 3!

trumpeter Swan nest #3 easier workaround

Easier Workaround to make a trumpeter swan nest: Take the whole 50 feet of 1/4 inch sisal & turn it into a giant monkey chain knot chain, then attach the ends together to make an ellipse…

From there, take the smaller sisal (called heavy duty, but thinner) & monkey chain knot a web in the centre of your ellipse…

trumpeter swan nest design #3

I used my hula hoop as a tension creator to help with the weaving…Just tie off several corners of the ellipse to the hula hoop using whatever spare ties you have lying around…Then try to think like a spider as you weave your monkey chain knot through & through open links…

https://picasaweb.google.com/grovecanada GroveCanada Picasa Album

Jadzia, born April 16, 2005, Intact bengal lady Cat, did this drawing of an elephant in her dry food dish today...

here is where I am at with hula hoop weaving , monkey chain knots, & Trumpeter Swan nests- total cost for this one, #3, one ball of sisal 1/4 inch 50 ft. $3.00 cad. , one ball of 550 ft. sisal thinner grade $5.00…total so far $8.00 (I already had a hula hoop, scissors, & hands)…

Taking a break for lunch or dinner...Not sure if I am done yet or not...Will know after I eat some food...Tomatoes & Onions & Pineapple are a nice substitute for a Hawaiian pizza & you don't irritate the guy making your pizza who has religious views about pork...

Why has the Bluffer’s park Bay frozen over so quickly?

Well, the water is shallow & shallow water freezes faster than deep water…Also, the bay is protected from wind & currents & a protected body of water is more still, whereas running flowing water doesn’t freeze as quickly…Also, thicker water freezes faster than thinner water? What do you mean by thicker water? Well, the water in the bay at Bluffer’s is thicker because more silt gathers there, it is like the corner of a room where lint gathers…Oh, but where is the silt coming from? The Bluffs, those tall cliffs that surround the Bluffer’s bay, erode into the water, the rocks disintegrates into dust & enters the water in the bay, making the water thicker & shallower…But why is it getting shallower & shallower at a faster pace than it used to? Well, because those bluffs, cliffs, are eroding faster than before because Ontario is more seismic than before…What is seismic? Well, not to alarm you, but Ontario has also been micro-seismic, meaning, having tiny earthquakes or earth tremors all the time, due to its proximity to a lake…Earth crust near to lakes tends to be thinner & more delicate…Combine that with digging deep for the subway, digging deep for the CN tower, overdensification of a small urban area with heavy tall new buildings, & the increased weight of construction machines constantly driving on bridges, roads that are unstable, thin ground, heavy ships & ferries displacing large amounts of water, sonic boom & the weight of airplanes at the Island Airport at the bottom of Front street- all of these factors contribute to wind, water, earth, air instability…Erosion & earthquakes are related…
What can we do to stop the earthquakes from making the Bluffs crumble? Well, protest any zone density bylaw amendments in your local area that ask for density increases…Lobby for tall old buildings to be taken down & not rebuilt, but made into a grassy park…Trees & grasses & brush & plants all form nice roots that stabilize large expanses of land- the more trees we plant, flowers, even, grasses, green things, the better we can re-stabilize Ontario…Any deep digging for construction sites will cause more earthquakes…A heavy construction garabage truck can make a single residential street bend & lean & dip on an angle due to the weight of the truck…Don’t believe me? Come by our place & watch our street lean to one side whenever a large truck parks across the street…(It began in the fall of 2009 when our street started to fold & bend a bit- fall 2009)…

HCM or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy: ‎2 primary cultural factors in HCM: 1)Overbreeding, 2)Lack of Taurine… Later the cultural neglect manifests as a “gene” deficiency”…(remedy: add small amounts of taurine powder to food, don’t overbreed)…
* yes, I studied this all over 6 years ago…It’s really just a case of scientists not seeing the forest for the trees…Dilated version is just a lesser version of Hypertrophic- same cause just less severe…One of the ways you can ascertain without alot of tests is by simple observation- a cat that doesn’t purr, or gets winded easily…My suggestion is to add Taurine powder to the diet in small amounts over a long period of time, until the cat begins purring & is less winded…of course all vet treatments like spaying, neutering, vaccinations will cause a fear reaction in the cat, as well as too much running, jumping or playing with older more aggressive cats or kittens…If vet interventions can be delayed or even avoided, including the taking of blood, there is less of a chance the cat or kitten will keel over & die of a heart attack…I’m not quite sure what constitutes a bad breeding program versus a good one, since I have seen wide variations from both the rich & the poor, the supposed “good” breeders & the “bad” ones…

Trumpeter Swan nest number 3, also alternates as a wild bird seed feeder for swans, ducks, & other waterbirds…(put wild bird seed on top so they don’t have to eat dirt if they don’t want to)…

Superbowl Sunday feb 6, 2011 I finished this trumpeter swan nest prototype #3, also doubles as a wild bird seed feeder for when you go to the shore with wild bird seed to feed waterbirds, you can put it on the nest instead of directly on the beach...

Click the words ‘If at first you do succeed try try again’ , below to read a preview version of our book in progress- well, look at since it is a picture book…

Update: On two separate occasions, prototype nest number 1 & number 2, were recognized & used by waterbirds as a nest…
The first nest was enjoyed by the ducks, while the second nest was sat upon by two Canada geese!
I realise I am going to have to double my starting diameter, since my nest seems to get smaller as I weave it together…
So, double everything in my recipe above to get a nest for a swan…
I will post a photo when I do that myself…Sari
This is probably going to be the design I will go with, but much much bigger, & possibly with straps to tie the nest to a large flat rock at Bluffer’s park…

Note: This nest design could be strapped to large rocks along a shoreline…The nest could also be placed in the crotch of trees for eagles for example to nest in… Different diameters of this nest appeal to different birds…try a different size for your local waterbirds or earth birds, & place securely in various locations on your own property…If you want to make a nest yourself & are having trouble or want to ask me a question feel free to email Sari Grove at grove@sent.com …

The Sisal shrinks up tighter when it is exposed to the outdoor humidity…Also, Trumpeters have very very large feet- the finished nest has small enough gaps that it is safe- I accounted for that…Also, the entire thing punches down into the ground when outside, it does not sit on top of the ground…The problem with loose straw in lakeshore areas is that there is concern from the water people of the straw getting into the water…Loose straw is fine for private property, but where these Trumpeters are living is not private property…Trumpeters make a nest & will then use that same nest for many years to come…However these released into the wild swans have not been making their own nests- which is when people can step in to help…A nest is not just a place to keep warm, however, even with that goal in mind, loose straw would scatter in our winds…I am not sure where you are writing from, but our climate here is temperatures at minus 15 degrees Celsius some days in winter, with accompanying iced over lake & winds…Quite harsh…

Hi… Are you “JayTeeScott” ? Of the most wonderful blog at http://simplysuperbswans.blogspot.com/ ? I was confused because your comment was signed Joe…
Thank you for all your help by the way…It is so important for me to talk to experts…
Mute Swans have been very successful on this planet, I think in no small part due to the Royal Family in England officially protecting them & also because of people like you…
Trumpeter swans on the other hand have had a hard time of it, & were almost extinct in Ontario where I live just a short decade ago…
Those that are here now are the result of deliberate human intervention, breedings, incubating, raising, then release into the wild in 2007…There are now 1200 Trumpeter Swans in Ontario, from none…
These swans are semi-wild-semi-domestic…They are not migrating south, which was the old pattern when it got too cold here… Possibly because they just don’t know the route, or because this is their home…In fact, most have not even left their drop off site from release…
They are also not building their own nests… Possibly because they were raised by humans… Perhaps they have evolved to a different sort of nesting here, which I have seen involves seeking places where large rocks shelter them from wind…
The co-operators, people who helped to bring the species back, are also feeding them from November to April- winter, albeit a cheap low grade gmo corn feed that has dubious nutritional content (which I am trying to get them to upgrade to something with more nutrients like wild bird seed, or other foods too…)
Normally, waterbirds should be left alone to do their own thing & feed themselves…Which is correct…Except that the humans here have devastated the natural habitat, not to mention those swans that are migrating south are getting shot since the American laws concerning hunting of swans are lax…
Sisal by the way is in fact straw…It is just a little more in a durable form…
Rather than scattering straw along our shores for the 1200, I was trying to come up with a prototype nest that would be acceptable both to humans & to swans, without getting into trouble with the water quality sector for causing straw to enter into our filtration plant…(though straw is actually good for water due to its magnesium content being able to offset mercury)…
As a note, these woven nests could also be placed in the crotch of trees for bald eagles or other earth birds…
Again, of course it is better for birds to build their own nests… But if they are not doing so, we can help…
My other issue is with territory,,,By getting approval to put out pre-made nests, it is saying to the public that this territory is for a bird…Habitat is getting sparse & I think claiming some of it for the birds will help them to not get shooed away by dogs or humans…


Imagine this nesting platform “Starfish shelters” with the Sisal nest attached to the prongs inside…nice nest eh? Now imagine the Starfish shelter is sitting half in the water, like an island…Perfect for a Trumpeter swan nest…ok, maybe some problems with tides…but a neat idea I will have to work on…

Notes on the success of artificial nests in other bird species:

http://www.americanartifacts.com/smma/per/nesttest.htm Fascinating artificial nests success story…swallows…

http://www.americanartifacts.com/smma/siteindx.htm All kinds of artificial bird nests with photos and stories!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuaoJ2ck8AA
Artificial Nest success for Saker Falcons…Video…in Mongolia…wonderful…

http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/homenest/nestbask.htm
Homemade nest sites for mallard ducks…

http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.2193/0091-7648%282005%2933%5B1321%3AEEODNS%5D2.0.CO%3B2?journalCode=wbul make sure to enlarge the photo of the straw log wrapped in chicken wire on a pole artificial nest for mallard ducks…This idea could be modified, make much much larger for a Trumpeter Swan… Imagine a giant sized roll of chicken wire filled with straw in a log shape on a pole? or filled with a Sisal nest? or both…

http://amazingdata.com/birds-nests-in-the-most-bizarre-places/ Amazing places birds build bird nests…great photos!

http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110107003441.htm Duck artificial nests…success…Tokyo…

http://www.ehow.com/how_4478359_make-floating-island.html How to make a floating island for your nest…

http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/how-to-build-a-floating-trash-island.html Another floating island design- using recycling of plastic bottles!

http://www.birdresearchnw.org/Feature-Story/348002.aspx Another successful floating island project using recycling of plastic bottles: terns!

Floating Island success to lure terns away from baby salmon stock…more recycled goods used…big project…
http://aec.army.mil/usaec/newsroom/update/sum09/sum0914.html

Artists have a history of creating floating island ideas: here are some that were realized…
http://sustainablecitiescollective.com/kelly-brenner/13215/floating-habitat-islands

http://www.dardni.gov.uk/ruralni/pdfs/cmd/farm_ponds.pdf This is a PDF file which includes how to make a floating island…in the Ponds section…(of the pdf)
(basically you make a wood frame, attach panels to it to make a floor, attach buoyant things to the bottom wrapped in chicken wire or fishing net, add a duckling ramp, gussy it up….more details at the link).

About GroveCanada

Artist Statement: I like to push...Push the fold...Innovate...Figure out how to do something then figure out how to do it even better...I get bored once I accomplish something...I can’t seem to make multiples...Once it is done, it is done ; I am not going to make another one...This can hurt profitability...But I feel the paradigm of repetitive production is obsolete...I see a future where pure intellectual innovation will be rewarded without the need to commercialize it somehow...I wonder about the Star Trek idea of a new culture where money is not the driving force...I live that future already... Bio: Sari is an optimist by nature, someone who always sees the sunny side of things, even if there is no sunny side really...She grew up with two wonderful parents & a great brother...Later she married the very best guy in the world, another artist named Joseph Grove...She likes art because it is for her a happy place to be...A place where joy can reside...So she decided to make art herself because that was the nicest thing she thought she could do for people’s lives...I’d tell you more about angst or strife or misery or struggling, but really, that was not the case...But perhaps, because I am Sari ; I am writing this, my perception is warped by my extreme positivity...But, to tell you the truth, life has been good... p.s.You can read more about my credentials on my main website at http://www.grovecanada.ca ...But I have left a few things out, credential-wise... My feeling is:"By their fruits, ye shall know them" which is from the New Testament, Book of Mathew(7, 16-20)... So read my books ; see if the fruit tastes good to you...I feel those are better credentials than telling you something on a resume... p.p.s. I am a Christian...Whatever that word means to you...
This entry was posted in Our Bengal Cats, Trumpeter Swans. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to How to make a trumpeter swan nest…

  1. Good day very nice website!! Man .. Excellent .. Superb .. I will bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally?I am happy to search out a lot of helpful info here in the post, we need develop more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  2. GroveCanada says:

    Dear Fishing Gears! Love to hear from you!!! If you or your friends or family come up with some ideas about making artificial nests for swans feel free to share them! I am still working out these ideas, & would love to make this an international fun project…Making nests, feeding swans, is so good for the soul, especially for teaching young people about our natural world…Swans are very friendly to help, they are very welcoming of support…I feel the future is going to be about making nice habitats for some of these folks who like to use our beaches too…

  3. GroveCanada says:

    I’ve updated my design ideas…Yo can see them at http://www.grovecanada.ca in the Blog section or on Instructables…
    Nest for a Trumpeter swan: –   http://sarigrove.weebly.com/1/post/2011/12/nest-for-a-trumpeter-swan.html

    http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-Trumpeter-Swan-Nest/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s