Once upon a time, at the annual Global Avian Nest-Building Exposition, an elder representing the Eastern Bluebirds took to the stage to make a very important announcement. "This week we have seen many beautiful examples of the amazing varieties of nests that the birds of the world can build. Each year they only get more intricate, more strong and sturdy, or more able to hang securely fromprecarious ledges than they were the year before. We birds continue to prove that we can create beautiful and useful homes, even as there becomes each year less and less safe and available habitat in which we can build them."

The other birds nodded in agreement, puffing up their chests, knowing in their hearts that he was right. "But," he continued, "this year, the Bluebirds decided that instead of presenting you with an example of our best nest-making abilities, we wanted to break with tradition and propose an idea. We have noticed that more and more Humans these days are building or buying nest boxes for us, and setting them up in their backyards or in public parks. They even sometimes go so far as to set out little containers filled with seeds for us to eat, and baths on pedestals in which we can bathe. We feel deep gratitude for these Humans, and we would like to find a way to give back to them, maybe by building them special homes like they do for us. Would anyone here be interested in helping us with this project?"

The crowd immediately buzzed with excitement. Many Birds said that they had been thinking the same thing, and that they would love to build homes for the Humans. They immediately began discussing whether they should use sticks or mud, or just dig holes in sandy dunes, but very large holes, when a Mockingbird interrupted, saying, "I think it would take us small Birds way too long to create actual houses for the Humans, and most of them do not like to live in houses made of sticks and straw anyway." The other Birds fell silent, feeling very sad, until a worldly and knowledgeable Tufted Titmouse broke the silence with a better idea. She said, "In my travels, I have noticed that the Humans have created a new little reality in which they build homes for themselves. They call it the World Wide Web, or the Internet. I bet we would be great at using computers, with our agile beaks for typing and our quick wits. Why don't we try our wings at building Internet homes for them?"

The other Birds loved this idea, and they immediately ordered a computer and then began to teach themselves to design web sites. They named themselves the Internest Collective, and they decided they would work cooperatively, choosing for each project the most suitable Birds for the job. Each Bird in the Collective brings to the group his or her own unique strengths and talents, and taken together, they are an impressive flock indeed.

The Birds have found web site building to be creatively satisfying, and they have especially enjoyed being able to use a much broader palette of colors than they could use when building nests in the wild. But after building a few sites, they were having trouble meeting Humans who would take them seriously and consider letting the Birds build their web sites. They needed some Human intermediaries who could talk to the clients for them, just some figureheads who could understand their birdly vocalizations and translate for them during telephone conversations and things like that.

One day an outgoing Swainson's Warbler noticed that this one Human was always hanging around in the woods near his nest site. He flew near to the Human and began singing out to him, asking him if he understood. The Human responded by saying,"Of course, young Bird. My name is Phil. What can I help you with?" Excited, the Warbler alighted on Phil's outstretched hand and explained that the Internest Collective needed a figurehead or two. They discussed the matter and decided that Phil and his friend Beth would join the Internest Collective, as long as the birds would pay them a small stipend and also help them build a blog about their lives in the tiny hamlet of Petville.

Phil and Beth were delighted to have found jobs where all they had to do is talk to people and seem knowledgeable, and pass all the real work on to the Birds. The Birds enjoy giving back to the Human community, and they hope that people will continue to think of them when they are planning their backyards.