The first thing that popped into my head is that it could be a Baltimore oriole nest, but after looking at my wife's copy of 'Field Guide To North American Birds', it seems orioles usually aren't found in your area of the US.To continue the bird theme, found this on the ground near a atlas pine. Not sure what kind of birds nest it is/was but I wish I had put something near it to give a reference to it's size because it was much larger than the pic might suggest.
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Not sure there are Baltimore orioles here but I have seen some sort of oriole on rare occasions. I was sort of thinking it might be a humming bird nest as we have quite a few of those around and I have seen them collecting spider webs.The first thing that popped into my head is that it could be a Baltimore oriole nest.
Did some googling, new guess is this the bird. I see hordes of them bouncing around bush to bush and it says they make hanging nests.Hummingbird nests are quite tiny - judging by the pic with the hand I'd say that nest is far too large.
I have seen similar nests hanging here but have not been able to associate them with a specific bird...although looking around it does appear oriole might be a likely candidate...