Bird Nests and Nesting Schemes

Utah Birds Website

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

Simple Scrapes

Many of the ducks, most shorebirds, plus most terns, and some falcons, pheasants, quail, and partridges of North America, use simple scrapes on the ground as their nests.

American Avocets make a slight hollow near shallow lakes and ponds as their nest. 

  Female on a Nest, by Mike Fish    ©Mike Fish

If the water level rises they will build up the nest with sticks, weeds and other materials to raise the eggs above the water.

  Female on a Nest, Male looking on, by Mike Ware    ©Mike Ware

Usually four, but sometimes three eggs are laid which are incubated by both parents for about 24 days. 

  Eggs in a Nest, by Mike Fish    ©Mike Fish

The precocial young can swim a few hours after hatching, but can't  fly for about 27 days.

  New Chick, by Jack Binch    ©Jack Binch
Mallards, like most ducks, nest on the ground in a shallow scrape lined with grasses and other soft materials.  But sometimes Mallards can  build a variety of more bulky types of nests quite far away from the water, which they line with vegetative material and down. 
  Male and Female, by Brad Sharp    ©Brad Sharp

A large clutch of from 8 to 10 eggs is incubated by the female for 26 to 30 day.  Soon after hatching the chicks are led to the nearest water. 

In a city environment, nests far from the water can cause some problems for the chicks being lead by the female, when they must navigate some barriers to reach the water. (series of photos)

The young birds can fly about 49 to 60 days after hatching.

  March to the "Sea", by Jeff Cooper    ©Jeff Cooper

Return to the Utah Birds Home Page