So, technically, even if you think a nest has been abandoned — and even though most songbirds do not reuse old nests — it might be unlawful to collect or damage the nests.
Some folks say that a strict interpretation would even prohibit removing old nesting material from bluebird boxes. But wildlife officials have determined that is OK.
“You are allowed to clean out your bird house and remove a nest,” said Mike Mengak, a University of Georgia wildlife expert. “You are allowed to remove nesting material from a structure on your property — like a garage or porch. You cannot disturb the nesting material if there is a bird or eggs in it.”
For a good explanation of "dos and don'ts" under the law, visit: dnr.state.md.us/wildlife/Plants_Wildlife/MBirdTreatyAct.asp.
In the sky: Hurrah! Spring arrives at 6:45 a.m. Friday, said David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer. The moon also will be new Friday. Mercury is low in the east just before sunrise. Venus and Mars are in the west just after dark and set a few hours later. Jupiter is high in the east just after dark and is visible all night. Saturn rises out of the east at about midnight.