Bird nests: Construction & Collaboration

Birds are definitely the best nest builders; way better than wasps or bees. Birds build nests to protect their eggs and their offspring. They use naturally available materials to do so. There are mainly only two types of nest building: sculpting and assembly.

Sculpting is the process of removing material; commonly this entails burrowing into the ground or plant matter to create a nesting site.

Assembly entails gathering, transporting, and arranging materials to create a novel structure. This step is a collective effort by all birds in a family. They work together to collect plant matter, feathers from the animal itself sometimes, mud / dirt and fecal matter. Birds’ talons and beaks are designed for carrying and arranging the materials they gather. The ability to choose and maintain good nest sites is mostly selected by the male bird but sometimes the females also do the same in some species. The young from previous broods may also act as helpers for the adults.

Birds that nest colonially benefit from increased protection against predation. They may also be able to better utilize food supplies, by following more successful foragers to their sites. Sparrows, herons, gulls and flamingos are a few that follow this type of nesting.

via Daily Prompt: Collaboration


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