Monday, November 29, 2010

Top 10 The Bird Nest

1. A bird nest is a spot where birds lay and incubate their eggs and raise their young.

2. Nests are built each year in most species but some birds refurbish their old nests.

3. In most species, the female does all or most of the nest construction, though the male often helps.

4. Although nests are primarily used for breeding they may also be reused in the non-breeding season for roosting and some species build special dormitory nests or roost nests (or winter-nest) that are used only for roosting.

5. The cup nest is smoothly hemispherical inside, with a deep depression to house the eggs. Most are made of pliable materials including grasses though a small number are made of mud. Many passerines and a few non-passerines, including some hummingbirds and some swifts, build this type of nest.

6. Small bird species in more than 20 passerine families, and a few non-passerines—including most hummingbirds, kinglets and crests in the genus Regulus, some tyrant flycatchers and several New World warblers use considerable amounts of spider silk in the construction of their nests. The lightweight material is strong and extremely flexible, allowing the nest to mold to the adult during incubation (reducing heat loss), then to stretch to accommodate the growing nestlings; as it is sticky, it also helps to bind the nest to the branch or leaf to which it is attached.

7. The study of bird nests is called caliology.

8. Many birds nest close to human habitations and some have been specially encouraged. Nesting White Storks have been protected and held in reverence in many cultures. Some species of birds are also considered nuisances when they nest in the proximity of human habitations. Feral pigeons are often unwelcome and sometimes also considered as a health risk. The Beijing National Stadium, principal venue of the 2008 Summer Olympics, has been nicknamed "The Bird Nest" because of its architectural design, which its designers likened to a bird's woven nest.

9. In the Victorian era, naturalists often collected bird's eggs and their nests.

This much bigger nest belongs to the squirrels in the neighborhood.

10. If you have a further interest in birds and their nesting, I found a fascinating website with photos and live webcams called Nest Watch located at NestWatch is a nest-monitoring project developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in collaboration with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, and funded by the National Science Foundation.

This may seem like a random list but if you look around outside, I am sure you will find a few nests of your own. Especially, if the majority of your leaves have fallen. The pictures in the blog were taken in my backyard yesterday.

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