Birdbrained, maybe, but a nest to feather

Diega the duck in her unusual home
Diega the duck in her unusual home

Forget the river bank or a nice cosy spot in a tree top, these birds have chosen to rest their feathers in a more unusual location.

A blackbird has built her nest where it is protected from adult peregrine predation, inside a woven sculpture at the Oxmarket Gallery in Chichester. The structure was designed by land artists Mark and Rebecca Ford.

The bird sculpture on show at the Oxmarket  Centre of Arts.  C120608-2

The bird sculpture on show at the Oxmarket Centre of Arts. C120608-2

An exhibition was due to finish at the gallery on April 29 as part of the preview show of the Chichester art trail.

But any attempt to move the nest which currently holds a clutch of beautiful blue eggs, would be a wildlife crime – with a penalty up to six months in prison. So the gallery has kindly extended the exhibition until the chicks have fledged.

“This is living art – a living installation,” said Mr Ford, of Slindon.

“I considered moving the structure even by just a couple of inches so I could dismantle it somehow, but I don’t think the blackbird would notice.”

Meanwhile Diega the Muscovy duck has decided to create a humble abode in a dustbin in Sidlesham.

Owner Lucinda Gibson-House said: “Her nest is a marvel of construction completely insulated above and below with a surround of softest duck down to keep her precious eggs warm.

“She comes from a line of eccentric Muscovies and is clearly taking after her mother in her choice of nesting spots, after all she herself was hatched last year in an old fridge draw.”

Diega is currently sitting on about 20 eggs and despite this being her first attempt at brooding whether she hatches just one or the whole brood she will be just as delighted.

Diega and her owners will have a little wait as Muscovy duck eggs take between 32 and 34 days to hatch and so far she has only been sitting tight for a week.

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