Most birds create their nests using leaves, twigs and berries.
But these city-dwelling mistle thrushes decided to come up with an ingenious alternative using a set of traffic lights to set up their home.
Motorists driving over the busy roundabout in Eccles, Salford, were surprised and delighted to see the family of birds flying in and out of the lights.
‘I stopped at the traffic lights and saw something fly past me,’ said delivery driver Beverley Harper, 47, from Bury. ‘It went straight into the traffic light.
‘As the lights turned to amber then green, I could see the nest and a few little beaks.
‘The chicks were lit up by the lights. It was a brilliant thing to see and it caught me by surprise.
‘They looked really comfortable in there and to see them put a real smile on my face for the rest of the day.’
Experts said mistle thrushes are known for choosing unusual nesting sites.
Bird enthusiast Adrian Dancy said a pair had previously been discovered nesting over a lighting rig at the entrance to the Printworks entertainment complex in Manchester city centre.
He has also photographed a family living in a nest on a window sill at Chetham’s School of Music, while mistle thrushes are regularly seen feeding and singing around the grounds of Manchester Cathedral.
Mr Dancy said: ‘Mistle thrushes look like, and are often mistaken for, song thrushes.
‘They have been known to nest in strange places, sometimes often in lighting structures.They were originally woodland birds but have adapted to urban environments.
‘They are delightful birds and it seems that one place is as good as another when it comes to building a nest.
‘These chicks obviously feel safe in the traffic lights. The birds normally have two broods a year. They start breeding in February and now the chicks appear to be at an advanced stage.’
Mistle thrushes are characterised by their white-tipped tail edges and ‘football rattle’ call.