how does a tailor bird build its nest

Not all birds build their nests from twigs and dry grass. Some make mud nests. Others nest among stones. Across the tropical ecosystems of Asia, the small common tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) sews a sturdy bird nest together from leaves and spider webs, fine grass, or plant fibers. This updated video, originally filmed by Ronit Vasani in India, shows how a tailorbird sews a nest and raises a family of four baby birds over the course of a month.

tailorbird sewing The tailorbird was also “immortalized by Rudyard Kipling in his Jungle Book.” From Thai National Parks:

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What is a common tailorbird?

Within the Cisticolidae family of songbirds, Orthotomus sutorius, is the common tailorbird species. They are found across Asia.

These tiny birds have a length of 10 to 14 centimeters and a weight of 6 to 10 grams. Their colors are vibrant, with green or grey upper regions and a chestnut head. When the chicks grow to adulthood, their dull green color changes throughout.

During the breeding season, male tailorbirds have a longer central tail than females. Tailorbirds normally have long tails held upright. These birds stay in one place all year round and form lifelong bonds.

They are very active animals even though they are poor flyers and avoid large, open areas. In order to search for insects, they will occasionally hop on the ground and dart between shrubs and trees. In addition, tailorbirds consume fruits, berries, and small seeds. Occasionally, they will also ingest nectar from flowers, which may result in a head covered in pollen. Â.

The ability of tailorbirds to “sew” their nests together gives rise to their name. Some species in the Cisticolidae family also use this technique for sewing leaves. © gszenki/ Shutterstock.

Although tailorbirds are remarkably adept at “sewing” their own homes, even the most experienced bird watcher may find it difficult to examine their nests.

The Museum’s Senior Curator of Birds, Douglas Russell, states, “Nest architecture is incredibly varied.” In order to understand more about the evolution of these animals and their behaviors, we are only now starting to unravel the intricacies of nest structures. ’.

The main goal of the tailorbird’s nest, as with all bird nests, is to keep young birds safe and predators out. Due to the species’ high rates of predation, concealment and a low, level location—about a meter above ground—are essential.

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Not all birds use dry grass and twigs to construct their nests. Some make mud nests. Others nest among stones. The small common tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius) weaves a robust bird nest out of fine grass, spider webs, leaves, and plant fibers in tropical ecosystems throughout Asia. This updated video, which was first captured in India by Ronit Vasani, demonstrates how a tailorbird builds a nest and spends a month raising a family of four young birds.

tailorbird sewing The tailorbird was also “immortalized by Rudyard Kipling in his Jungle Book.” From Thai National Parks:

How does a tailorbird make its nest?

The female tailorbird selects a broad, robust, flexible leaf that, when folded, can offer strong structural support. A weak or lifeless leaf won’t work because it will probably shatter during the sewing process or when the chicks are carrying it.

Typically, a leaf is placed at the end of a branch to lessen the chance of a predator reaching the nest, and in the middle of dense foliage to prevent anyone from seeing the nest.

To ensure it is the proper size, the female encircles the leaf around herself. If it isn’t, she adds another one or two leaves.

She then pulls the leaf together with her feet and uses her long, thin beak, which resembles a needle, to puncture a number of tiny holes along the edge of the leaf. Because of the minuscule holes, the leaf maintains its shape and doesn’t turn brown.

Through the holes, the female threads weave silk from insects like caterpillar cocoons or cobwebs, or plant fibers like cotton or lint.

Common tailorbirds have been observed stealing man-made materials from areas close to human habitations, including wool, cotton thread, and even carpet fibers Â^ Naim Beg/Shutterstock

The thread edges secure the leaf edges together, much like rivets do. Because of the thread’s coarseness and the leaf’s elasticity in springing back to grasp the thread as it passes through the holes, the stitches don’t unravel. A single nest can contain between 150 and 200 stitches.

The nest even has a roof made of one or more fallen leaves that serves as protection from the sun and shelter from monsoon rains. Additionally, by hiding and safeguarding the nest, this keeps predators out.

The female works incredibly hard to repair the damage by adding more stitches or another leaf, even though there may be a few false starts when the thread breaks or a leaf tears. In order to save energy, if the damage is too great, the nest is abandoned and replaced with a new one made of recycled materials.

Usually taking two to four days, this process occurs in the morning or late afternoon. The male purchases all the materials, but the female completes all the labor; this is a test of both genders’ fitness.

A parasitic bird, the plaintive cuckoo enjoys laying its own eggs in the nest of the common tailorbird. While gathering the meek cuckoo specimens in Macau, China in 1904, John Crampton Wilkinson Kershaw came across this specimen.

The nest is a deep cup that mimics the plant’s natural form. There is no contrast in the leaf’s exterior because its shiny, upper surface faces outward. Since the nest faces the same direction as the leaves, it will stand vertically if the plant naturally leans downward, and horizontally if the foliage does.

Without closely examining the birds’ behavior, it is nearly impossible to distinguish the nest from its surroundings due to their expert construction.

The real nest, however, lies within the sewn cup. The male gathers fine grass, fills it, and lines the sides of the cup with other soft materials like plant downs and animal hairs.

“A wide variety of materials, including plant and animal matter, are available for use by birds,” says Douglas Birds frequently deliberately select the materials they use based on the various properties those materials offer. ’.

Feathers and fur are typically used by tailorbirds to fill the leaf cup because they provide superior insulation for the nest. Additionally, green plant material is utilized, which promotes thermoregulation and lessens the likelihood of parasites like lice Â.

Typically, tailorbirds build their nests low, typically one meter above the ground. This adult returns to its nests to feed its chicks. © nattaphol phromdecha/ Shutterstock.


How do tailor birds build nests?

The most intriguing quirk of the common tailorbird is perhaps that it creates its nest by sewing leaves together with its beak.

What does the tailor bird use as a needle to sew it’s nest together?

The tailorbird uses its sharp beak to make its nest by stitching together two leaves on a bush. It lays its eggs in the fold of the leaf that it has made.

How do birds decide where to build a nest?

To deal with flying predators, birds look for places where they can hide or at least partially cover their nests. There’s a reason the cliche of the nest in the nook is ubiquitous; a nook provides great cover in every direction but one. Birds look for high places in homes where they can nest.

How long does it take for a tailor bird egg to hatch?

Tailorbirds usually lay 2 to 5 eggs which are pastel blue in colour, speckled with brown. The female will incubate the eggs for about 12 days before they hatch.