Ask a Question forum: Daylily nests

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Name: Kate
Monroe, Connecticut
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drayton
Sep 28, 2015 12:51 PM CST
I hope someone out there can help me with this. Every year about this time I pull the dead leaves and stalks off my huge daylily bed so I can put mulch down between the rows and sort of tidy things up before winter. Each year I find that several plants have nests built of the fuzzy daylily fibers that surround the base of the plants. The nests are [url=shttp://garden.org/pics/2015-09-28/drayton/db678a.jpgmall]shttp://garden.org/pics/2015-09-28/drayton/db678a.jpgmall[/url], maybe 5 or 6 inches across, and roundish and buried right at the base of the plant. They are soft and light and every once in a while they incorporate a tiny bit of moss. Last year, a little later than this, I found tiny white pearl-like eggs in a few of them. The only thing I've seen in this garden besides bees is a frog or toad every now and then. Anybody know what these are?
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Sep 28, 2015 12:53 PM CST
The white eggs in them may be unrelated to the nest part. What you describe sort of sounds like a rabbit nest. Does it have litle bits of soft fur throughout it? I have rabbits and they make little piles of stuff at the base of my plants and have their babies. They only use a nest a short time and then move the babies around.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Sep 28, 2015 1:02 PM CST
drayton Welcome!
Would you mind uploading the image again? Thanks.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
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Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Sep 28, 2015 5:08 PM CST
Here is a link to the image:
http://garden.org/pics/2015-09-28/drayton/db678a.jpg

I do not think I can help you drayton, but welcome to All Things Plants. Smiling
Name: Kate
Monroe, Connecticut
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drayton
Sep 28, 2015 5:48 PM CST
Thanks, Chillybean. I was having a little trouble getting that image to upload.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Sep 28, 2015 9:42 PM CST
I vote rabbit nest, even after seeing the pic. They really are quite smaller than one would think and practically right on top of the ground sometimes. We used to have rabbits nest in our back yard around trees, in mulch, just anywhere and have to check around carefully before mowing...
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Sep 29, 2015 6:54 AM CST
Hi Kate, Welcome! from me too!

I agree with everyone else ... looks like a Rabbit nest!
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Sep 29, 2015 1:44 PM CST
I spent a while yesterday cleaning up some large daylily plantings and, as usual, found several nests that I've always assumed were vole nests. There are too many and too small to be rabbit nests. They looked like this picture:

https://natureguelphtracking.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/sep...

Welcome! Drayton



Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Sep 29, 2015 2:49 PM CST
I always thought voles nested underground?
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Sep 29, 2015 2:52 PM CST
Oh my, the Meadow Vole is such a cutie: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meadow_vole
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Sep 29, 2015 3:13 PM CST
Yes they sure are, Lin. :D

This page describes their nest...
http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/meadow_vole.htm
"Meadow Voles make nests in clumps of grass, using materials such as dry grass, sedges, and weeds. From their nests, they build "runways," like tunnels beneath the grass and plants."

We have voles, but they seem to stay out in the pasture.
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Sep 29, 2015 3:55 PM CST
That's interesting! I thought they were subterranean like moles but maybe they just take cover underground as this from Wikipedia states:
~ Nests are used as nurseries, resting areas, and as protection against weather. They are constructed of woven grass; they are usually subterranean or are constructed under boards, rocks, logs, brush piles, hay bales, fenceposts, or in grassy tussocks. Meadow voles dig shallow burrows and in burrows, nests are constructed in enlarged chambers. In winter, nests are often constructed on the ground surface under a covering of snow, usually against some natural formation such as a rock or log. ~

Cute little critters but it's such a shame they have to eat plants that we love. Green Grin!

~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Sep 29, 2015 4:38 PM CST
We get them also in different places around the yard.
The actual hole is very tiny, and does not go into a tunnel. The mother does not go into the nest.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0qfKF1fFrY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35gLP9dQ88I
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
Enjoys or suffers cold winters Spiders! Critters Allowed Birds Houseplants I helped beta test the first seed swap
Region: Nebraska Keeper of Poultry Rabbit Keeper Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Chillybean
Sep 29, 2015 4:47 PM CST
plantladylin said:
Cute little critters but it's such a shame they have to eat plants that we love. Green Grin!


We've been blessed. I am not sure voles have ever caused damage to anything desirable...not to say it won't happen. We know we have them based on the things we saw the Kestrel catch last winter. Some daffodils disappeared, but that just saved me the work of digging them up. Smiling
Skåne, Sweden (Zone 7b)
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William
Sep 30, 2015 8:18 AM CST
We probably haven't got your species here in Sweden, but I have seen similar nests in the fields complete with a little rodent "baby" in it on several occasions.
The tiny white pearl-like eggs sounds like slug or snail eggs, although I'd think they would put their eggs under the abandoned nests rather than in it as they would like a little moisture for them.
Name: Kate
Monroe, Connecticut
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drayton
Oct 2, 2015 8:12 AM CST
Thanks to everyone for their responses! Apparently, my computer sent all of this to my Junk, and I just found it!!
Sooby is right. They are way too small to be rabbit nests. And William is probably right about the eggs since they look like bug, not mammal, eggs and appear in only a few of the nests. We have been bothered with voles in the past and they did eat lots of my plants including a really big blue baptisia which was glorious on Monday and down and dead on Tuesday, eaten right off below ground. Also ate my anemones.They are very cute and it bothers me, but we trap them because it's the voles or the garden. I tried coexisting with them and it didn't work. since I'm pretty sure they are nowhere else in the yard, I don't think they are making nests. Even my biologist son-in-law is stumped. I think I'm going to set up my wildlife camera and see if I get anything.
Thanks again!

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