Bird Nests and Nesting Schemes

Utah Birds Website

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Plate or Small Platform Nests

Unlike the deep, well-formed cup nests, the plate nests are shallow and loosely contracted and are built to accommodate fewer eggs for a shorter period of time before they leave the nest.

Black Terns often nest on bent-over dead canes in marshy areas or on floating dead plant material.  Their shallow, loosely built nests keeps the usual three eggs just above the water. 

  New Chick, by Paul Higgins     ęPaul Higgins

The eggs are incubated for 21 or 22 days. A few days after hatching the young can leave the nest with strict supervision of the parents. The young birds can fly about 21 to 28 days after hatching.

  Young Black Tern,  by Paul Higgins     ęPaul Higgins

American Coot nests are made from the stems of marsh plants and float on the water attached to reeds or other plants.  They can be hidden in bulrushes or cattails out in the shallow water of close to the shore.

  American Coot Nest,  by Ted Steinke     ęTed Steinke

The usual 8 to 12 eggs are incubated by both parents for 23 or 24 days.  Soon after hatching and drying out, the chicks swim, following the parents, to be fed.  The young coots can fly about 49 to 56 days after hatching.

  Young Coot with Mother,  by Kent Keller     ęKent Keller



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