Wingnut
See more of the story

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are migrants and residents in Minnesota, concentrated in the southeast portion of the state and in the Minnesota River Valley. They nest in Hennepin County. Nests rarely easy to find for any species. Our gnatcatchers — there are four species in North America — most often choose shrubs and trees, location from three to 80 feet high. The photos are of a pair that chose a viewable site in Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge in Sherburne County. Photos were taken Monday morning. The chicks are close to fledging. As interesting as the birds is the nest itself, fashioned of plant down and fibers, fine grass, catkins, feathers, and hair, all bound by spider silk. The outside of the nest is covered in lichen flakes, giving the nest a shingled look.