Bird Nests and Nesting Schemes

Utah Birds Website

| Introduction | Secluded Place | Scrape | Mound | Burrow | CavityPlate | Platform | Pendant | Sphere | Cup | Host |


In order to successfully mate, lay eggs, incubate them and produce a new generation of birds, each bird species must have an appropriate scheme that is suitable to their life style.  Some birds fly half way around the world to find a safe place with food and the right environment for the new chicks, while others just use a little depression in the ground in their own neighborhoods to lay their eggs.  Some build no nest at all in a secluded place while others build elaborate nest in a particular type of fork in a particular type of tree.  The variety is quite amazing!

The pages through the links above and below will lead you to pictures and information about some of the different types of nests and nesting schemes used by some specific types of birds.  We hope you enjoy the pictures provided by some great photographers who generously share their photos. We also we hope the information brings you a better appreciation of the fascinating nesting behavior of birds.

The Utah Birds Website Staff

Nest Types
Photo / Link Nest Type Some Birds that mainly use this type of nest
  Secluded Place
  (no nest)
   Some Raptors
   Some Owls
   Some Auks
   Some Seabirds

 Non-North American Birds
   Some Penguins

  Simple Scrape   
   Most shorebirds and  terns
   Many ducks
   Some falcons, pheasants, quail and partridges
 Non-North American Birds
Ostriches, bustards and sandgrouse;  Most tinamous
Non-North American Birds
   Horned Coots  (of South America)
   Megapodes Including:
      Australian Bushturkeys and Malleefowl
   Burrowing Owls
   Most kingfishers

Non-North American Birds
   The Crab Plover, miners and leaftossers
   Some megapodes, motmots and todies
   Woodpeckers, chickadees, bluebirds, trogons, parrots
   Some Nuthatches, kingfishers, owls, ducks and flycatchers
 Non-North American Birds

   Most hornbills
   Many barbets
  (Small platform nests)
   Grebes, Coots, Black Terns
  (Hanging nest)
 Non-North American Birds

   Oropendolas, caciques, weavers and sunbirds
   Marsh wrens, magpies and American Dippers

 Non-North American Birds
   Thick-billed Weavers

  Cup Shaped   
   (This is the most common nest type)

   Many passerines
   Some hummingbirds and some swifts

  Host Nest
  (Brood Parasites)
 Non-North American Birds
   The honeyguides
   Many Old World and Australasian cuckoos



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