This morning, a Chipping Sparrow decided that my front doormat was an excellent source of materials for her nest. It's a coir doormat, which is a natural fiber extracted from the husk of coconut. This material, along with grass, weeds, and rootlets will make up the sparrow's open cup nest, which will then be lined with fine grass and animal hair.
Even though Chipping Sparrows all look the same, I know the bird on the mat was a female, since only she builds the nest. But the male was nearby and whenever the female had finished her gathering and fly toward the nest, the male would come from somewhere nearby and join her on the perch. Then they'd fly off to the nest together. She made numerous gathering trips to my doormat, but I wasn't able to follow them to the nest location, presumably on a neighbor's land.
It only takes a few days to build the nest, so I know that in 3 weeks or so, I can be looking for the little Chipping Sparrow family visiting my birdfeeders and maybe enjoying a pool party in one of my birdbaths. I can't wait to see them!