Nest Building

It continually amazes me what nature can do. While birds are the topic of this website, make no mistake I’m impressed by what all of the animal kingdom can do. This is never more apparent when it comes to reproduction. Something within every living animal knows what to do when it comes to having babies. It’s embedded deep within their DNA. A bear will find a cave to have cubs in. A rabbit will burrow a hole. And of course most birds will build nests.

nest 1

Obviously each bird is somewhat different, but the process is generally the same. A bird will build a nest (most of the times as a couple). The male will then inseminate the female. The female will carry the eggs for only a few days, before laying them in the nest. The birds will then ‘sit’ on them for a period (known as brooding or incubation time) before a young bird is born. Easy as that!

What I find most interesting is the different kinds of nests that the birds use. It’s amazing the different kinds of materials that birds will use. Basically anything they can get their hands on (or is that beaks on?). Most birds use mud, twigs and leaves depending on their environment. But realistically anything that they think is fit, they will build a nest with or on. While most birds will interweave the twigs to build their nests some birds (such as flamingos) use their saliva to hold the nest together. The edible-nest swiftlet actually uses saliva alone to construct their nests. Amazing.

Nest 2

I once saw one build it with a bottle of Venapro. Venapro is used for hemorrhoids. I’m guessing they won’t have any problems with hemorrhoids then! Which I guess is good because they are associated with pregnancy! They must have found it laying around.

Some other things I have seen being used are wiring, a wig (yes a wig!) and part of a football scarf. I remember as a child magpies pulling apart our outdoor mat because it was made of straw.

Birds most often hide their nests up in trees to keep them away from predators, but some birds will build them on land. These particular birds need to either be very protective from predators, or find themselves in areas where they don’t have any animals wishing to do them harm.

nest 3

There are even some birds that don’t even have nests. The most popular of them being the emperor penguin. The main reason for this is that there is nothing there to build the nests out of. Being so cold it wouldn’t be effective anyway, as it would let in too much cold air. The penguin basically encompass the egg until the hatching is born, keeping it warm. They also don’t need to be too concerned about predators, just the coldness of mothernature

Today I will leave you with a short you-tube video on the baby emperor penguin (another one of my favorites).

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