It is true that being outside in the cold and gray weather offers few reminders of how colorful and abundant nature can be in the spring and summer. But look how beautiful: this abandoned nest provided shelter and protection to a nest of young birds earlier in the year! And only a few short months from now they will start building their nests again.
Over the years I have gathered quite a few bird nests that have fallen to the ground or have been abandoned. When you look closely you can see how much effort has gone into making them, some are truly works of art! Obviously bigger birds need bigger nests, but the differences go well beyond that: some birds prefer a particular material to build their nest, might prefer a certain location or height for their nest, line the inside of the nest with something soft and warm or prefer to build a different shape nest than other birds.