03 July 2013

Different types of Birds’ Nests: Part 1

The information on the below posting of the main types of bird’s nests found in India has been compiled primarily from the works of the famous Indian ornithologist and naturalist, Salim Ali:

1. Simple scrapes in the ground sparsely lined with grass and leaves, e.g. quail, jungle fowl and other game birds, or with no semblance of lining, e.g. tern and lapwing. Protections is secured by the eggs and young of such birds through their remarkable obliterative coloration.

Lapwing Nest

2. Twig nests like platforms with a cup-like depression in the centre usual lined with softer material-grass, tow, feathers, etc. This type, built in trees or on buildings or cliffs, is common to a large number of birds of different families, e.g. crow, kite, dove, vulture, cormorant, stork, etc.

Turtle Dove

3. Nests in tree-holes either excavated in living or decayed wood, or in natural hollows and either with a sparse lining of soft material or unlined, e.g. tits, Yellow-throated Sparrow, woodpeckers, barbets, hornbills, owls, some mynas and most of our resident ducks. The holes are in the first instance cut by woodpeckers, parakeets or barbets and subsequently appropriated in rotation by many other species. Nesting in natural tree hollows is a common habit among our resident ducks, all of whom breed during the SW. monsoon. The situation gives security against sudden rise of water level in the jheels due to cloud-bursts or the swelling of streams flowing into them. The ducklings reach the water by tumbling out of the nest and are not carried down by the parents as has sometimes been asserted.


4. Nests in excavated tunnels in earth-banks or in clefts or buildings, rock cliffs, etc., e.g. bee-eaters, kingfishers, hoopoe. The tunnels are driven horizontally into the side of an earth-cutting or bank of a stream, the bird using its bill to dig and its fee to kick back the loose earth. The tunnels are from a few inches to several feet in length and usually bent near the extremity where they widen into a bulbous egg chamber.

Adult Kingfisher going to Nest

Adult Kingfisher feeding Chicks

5. Nests built entirely of mud or in which mud predominates, e.g. Whistling-Thrust, blackbirds, swallows, martins. The wet mud is commonly collected a r rain puddles. It is mixed with a certain amount of saliva in the case of swallows. There is a marked increase in the size of the salivary glands of these birds and swifts during the breeding season. Swallows’ nests have perforce to be built very gradually, pellet by pellet, so that not too much of the material is daubed on at one time before the underlying layer is sufficiently dry.

Barn Swallows

Cliff Swallows

6. Cup-shaped nests of grass and fibres in crotches or forks of branches, usually well plastered over with cobwebs, e.g. iora, fantail, and other flycatchers, orioles, white-eye minivets, reed warblers, cuckoo-shrikes, etc. Cobwebs are very extensively employed as cement in bird architecture, for binding the material compactly and neatly together. It is collected by being twisted round and round the bill and is then unwound and attached on the exterior of the nest, or used in securing the nest into position.

Iora Adult Feeding Chick

7. Domed or ball-shaped nests of twigs, grass or rootlets with a lateral entrance hole, e.g. munias, Rufous-bellied Babbler.

Munia Nest

8. Pendant nests, e.g. weaver birds (woven), sunbirds, flowerpeckers. The sunbird’s nest is a vertical oblong pouch suspended from the tip of a thin outhanging twig, usually not high above the ground. It has an entrance hole at the side with a little projecting porch over it. The exterior is draped untidily with pieces of bark, caterpillar droppings, and spiders’ egg-cases which give it an effective camouflage. The flowerpecker’s nest is a hanging pouch of the same general pattern, but made entirely of seed and vegetable down worked into a felt-like fabric.

Weaver Bird Making Nest

Weaver Bird Nest Creation System

Hanging Weaver Nests

9. Woven oblong purse; loofah-like—attached to stems of tall grass or low bushes, e.g. prinias (alternative to the next type).

Plain Prinia

10. Nest in leaves stitched together in the form of a funnel, e.g. Tailorbird, Franklin’s Prinia, Ashy Prinia.

Funnel Shaped Tailor Bird Nest

Tailor Bird Feeding Chicks in Nest


Anonymous said...

This is fabulous information. Love the photographs. Thanks

Yash Paul Manvi said...

Very valuable presentation of nature's beauty through the nests of birds.

Birds Park said...

Nice nest photographs regards Rahul Prasad "Birds' Park" Meerut India

animalsbirds said...

Swallow Bird And Nest hd Photos