Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 20, 2014

Birds turn hornets’ nest into their own

SPEEDWAY — A once dangerous hornets’ nest has been turned into a friendly habitat for a nest of birds.

Shannon Dunn, of Speedway, noticed the large hornets’ nest a couple years ago near her children play set.

“We had to kill the hornets’ nest because it was so close to my children’s playhouse, I was worried one of them would get stung. When we went to cut the hornets’ nest out of the tree we discovered a birds nest had been built inside of the hornets’ nest. The birds’ nest is made out of straw and other things you would see a regular birds’ nest made out of and it was inside of the hornets’ nest,” Dunn said.

Dunn described the nest as about a foot long and as large as a soccer ball.

“There are a couple birds and a nest of babies living in the hornets’ nest, I think they are robins but I can’t be sure,” Dunn said.

Richard Bailey, DNR state ornithologist, said this is the first time he has heard of this happening.

“This is pretty unusual, a lot of birds are cavity nesters but they usually won’t nest in an existing nest,” Bailey said.

The nests that large are usually bald- faced hornets’ nest, he said.

“Even though it is pretty rare that robins would be cavity nesters, I guess that it is possible, if the hole on the hornets nest was large enough for the birds to fit in,” Bailey said.

— Contact Anne Elgin at

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