Bird nests are much easier to spot in the winter but can also be partially destroyed by the weather. Typically bird nests are only used once for breeding and protecting of eggs. Nests require a lot of time and energy to construct. Identifying nests can be a challenge since neither bird nor eggs are present. However, by identifying what materials are used, where it is located, and how well it is built we can start to identify what bird built this nest.
Typically small nests with neatly formed grasses usually less then 3 feet off the ground are formed by sparrows. There are song, chipping, and field sparrows that all make neatly cupped grass nests. Often placing them on the ground but sometimes a few feet off the ground.
Sparrows are small brown birds that feed on seeds in shrubby open areas. There are many different types of sparrows but the ones listed above stay in the New England States year round. Many remain by the coast or by marshes and fields where there is food and water. They also feed on seeds from grasses and weeds in the winter.
AMC Naturalist Guide