For example, the other day I walked into one of the outbuildings in my backyard and noticed a small, rusty can overflowing with grass and twigs perched on the ledge above the door. The can was precariously close to tipping off the ledge. Out of curiosity, I picked the can up and looked inside it. The can contained a neat and compact little nest complete with five small eggs. I smiled and returned the can to the ledge. As I did so, I noticed the tin can was large enough to jut over the ledge regardless of how far I pushed it back against the wall.
Later that evening, I spoke to my father via Skype and mentioned the nest I had found. He warned me the nest would likely tip from the ledge once the eggs hatched if it were not secured in some manner. I nodded my head in agreement.
The next evening, I walked into the outbuilding to survey the nest again. The female bird sat inside the can minding her clutch of eggs. I examined the mother bird for a while and committed its features to memory (I later discovered it is a black redstart). I then stepped closer to the can-nest to determine how I could secure it to the ledge. My movement startled the female, and she flew out of the building leaving her nest unattended.
Seizing the opportunity, I quickly mixed some ceramic tile adhesive in a small plastic bucked and applied some to the ledge beneath the can. I then put some more adhesive around the edge of the can and the lip of the ledge, essentially creating a small barrier that anchored the tin in place. Once I had completed the work, I left the outbuilding and went to sit on the terrace to await the mother bird's return. I did not have to wait long. Within ten minutes she was back in the building. A short time later, her partner joined her inside. I checked on the can-nest the next morning. The female was sitting in the can incubating her eggs. The adhesive had dried perfectly; the tin can was secure.
The eggs will likely hatch in another week or so. When they do, I'll have a little black redstart family in the outbuilding, one I can observe and track intermittently every time I retrieve my bicycle or a garden tool. In any event, I can confidently declare that I am probably the only person in the village who has a can of birds on his property. For lack of a more original expression, I think that's pretty neat.