Feathering The Nest

Feathering the nest

Dr Charles Deeming explores the subtle factors that will determine the size and shape of individual bird nests this spring

The Biologist Vol 60(2) p26-30

Bird nests range from simple scrapes on the ground to complex woven hanging structures. The role of a bird's nest is usually seen as a receptacle for the eggs or chicks, but recent research is considering the functional characteristics of nests in order to better understand their role in bird reproduction.

In general, bird nests tend to be characteristic of the species that built them in terms of location, shape and construction materials. Nests can be located on rock ledges, within vegetation, on or above the ground, or within cavities in trees or the ground. But variation in nests built by the same individual bird was shown recently to be considerably greater than first thought...

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