which bird makes hanging nest

Suspended like a basketball net from a high-up branch, an oriole nest stands out from any other North American bird’s. With hundreds of thin, intertwined fibers, the seemingly delicate cradle can carry up to seven eggs and last for months beyond its intended purpose—a testament to the skill and dedication of female orioles.

“It’s absolutely fascinating to sit and watch them weave,” says Nancy Flood, a Thompson Rivers University biologist who’s studied orioles for 40 years. “You see the female poking one end of the string through, and then pulling her head back to weave it out, just like when you crochet or knit a bag. They can spend half an hour doing that, then go away to get another long piece of grass and do more.”

A group of more than 20 species, New World orioles are often recognized by their vibrant yellow or orange bodies and jet-black accents. Their breeding seasons extend from April to July, though their nests can usually be seen well into fall. Male orioles might assist in the gathering of materials, but the craft of weaving the pouch-like nests is usually completed by the females.

Most oriole nests can be found hanging in the canopy of a deciduous tree, snug and secure from predators, but some species in the Great Plains build cup-shaped nests in low shrubs to shield them from the wind. Hooded and Scotts Orioles, meanwhile, will suspend their abodes from palm or yuccas leaves in the Southwest and tropics.

Nest materials vary as well; females will choose whatever’s immediately available around the breeding site. Baltimore Orioles like to snap up the fluff that falls from cottonwood trees, whereas Scott’s Orioles pull pieces from the Joshua trees in which they nest.

Kenn Kaufman, field editor of Audubon magazine, once watched a Baltimore Oriole return to a patch of swamp milkweed for three days straight, each time stripping off long, strong fibers from the plants to weave into its progressing nest.

“They’re making a conscious choice in what materials they use,” Kaufman says. “She wasn’t just flying down and getting a piece of grass. They’re fully working and getting these fibers.”

Sometimes the birds get more experimental with their hardware. Flood has an oriole nest made entirely out of fishing line pinned to her bulletin board in her office in British Columbia. “What’s remarkable is that microfilament is lethal for birds; they get tangled in it and die,” Flood says. “For an oriole to be able to extract it and actually weave it into a nest is a testament to its skill.”

The weaving process requires patience and finesse. First, the bird winds long fibers around a branch to create the support strands for the rest of the structure. Then, the female makes a series of rapid thrust-and-draw movements with its beak to begin forming the pouch. She uses more flexible fibers to create an outer bowl before switching to springier fibers for the inner bowl. Downy fibers complete the nest and provide a soft lining to cushion the eggs. In all, construction can take between one to two weeks.

This complex process results in a durable structure (in one study, 85 percent of nests were still in place after a year). The birds don’t typically recycle their creations—instead, they might take material from old or failed nests to build the new one.

Experts aren’t sure why orioles and other birds have adapted to build hanging nests. The most obvious benefit is that the deep cups and narrow entranceways—two to three inches wide—provide better protection from predators and brood parasites. Oriole species with more concealed nests, including Baltimore, Orchard, Scotts, and Hooded, tend to have shallower pouches, typically ranging three to four inches in length. In contrast, Altamira Orioles have much deeper nests. Flood says shes seen 18-inch-long Altamira nests hanging from power lines in Mexico. In this case, their depth affords them much-needed protection from cowbirds and crows.

Ultimately, an oriole’s ability to create these architectural wonders is driven by instinct, not creativity. Through evolution, the birds have become increasingly adept at weaving hanging structures that increases the chances of offspring surviving. If a nest breaks, there will be no chicks to carry on the faulty nest builder’s genes, Flood explains.

But both Flood and Kaufman agree that even if the oriole’s craft is instinctual, it takes time and training to perfect it. In other words, only an expert nest builder would be able to take a snarl of fishing line and turn it into a sanctuary.

10 Birds That Build Hanging Nests That Defy Gravity

It’s likely that you are observing a hanging nest if you notice a set of twigs hanging from a tree branch. Let’s examine ten birds that construct hanging nests and the reasons behind their unusual nest-building techniques.

There are many different types of bird nests, but the hanging nest is one of the most fascinating designs. Some of these nests even appear to be defying gravity because they hang so low!

Consider the Altamira Oriole, which is indigenous to parts of the central United States, Mexico, and southern Texas.

Made from plant rootlets that have air trapped inside them, these nests have a lining inside made of horse hair and palmetto fiber. The Alta Mira Oriole’s nests are more than two feet long.

These small birds build their nests so that they are lightweight but strong enough to support the eggs and young when they hatch.

In the piece below, we examine a few more of these engineering marvels produced by the bird species.

This complex process results in a durable structure (in one study, 85 percent of nests were still in place after a year). The birds don’t typically recycle their creations—instead, they might take material from old or failed nests to build the new one.

The majority of oriole nests are found hanging in deciduous tree canopy, safe and snug from predators; however, some Great Plains species nest in low shrubs in the shape of a cup to protect them from wind. In the Southwest and tropical regions, Hooded and Scotts Orioles will suspend their homes from palm or yuccas leaves.

However, Kaufman and Flood concur that although the oriole’s skill is instinctive, mastery requires practice. To put it another way, only a skilled nest builder could transform a snarl of fishing line into a haven.

Kaufman claims that “they’re making a conscious choice in what materials they use.” She wasn’t merely swooping down to collect a blade of grass. They’re fully working and getting these fibers. ”.

The weaving process requires patience and finesse. First, the bird winds long fibers around a branch to create the support strands for the rest of the structure. Then, the female makes a series of rapid thrust-and-draw movements with its beak to begin forming the pouch. She uses more flexible fibers to create an outer bowl before switching to springier fibers for the inner bowl. Downy fibers complete the nest and provide a soft lining to cushion the eggs. In all, construction can take between one to two weeks.

1. The American Bushtit

Native to the Western United States, the Great Basin, California, and extending southward to Mexico, is the American bushtit.

These small, sparrow-like birds are typically found in scrublands and woodlands.

But because of the growing human population’s encroachment on their natural habitats, these birds can now also be found in parks and gardens.

These noisy birds gather in groups to search for food, constantly calling to one another while they hunt.

Like most other birds, these ones begin building their nests in the spring. Both the male and female can be seen diligently searching for a suitable location to hang their pendulous nests.

The location may be as low as three feet above the ground or as high as 100 feet above it.

After selecting a good location, they will begin constructing the nest using lichens, spider silk, and moss for the exterior.

They deposit feathers and fur inside to create a cozy, soft lining for their young. They could need up to a month to construct a nest.

About a foot below the location where they begin building their nests are their nests.

Because the nest is flexible, occasionally other adult bushtits will sit inside of it while the soon-to-be mother and pop bushtit is building it, in order to expand the nest further downward and create room for the eggs and nestlings.

One fascinating feature of bushtit nests is their excellent camouflage; when they build their nests on tree branches, they cover the exterior of the nest with plant material to make it blend in with its surroundings.

In order to trick predators, they also create a false entrance at the top; however, the true entrance is frequently on the side and concealed by vegetation.

Bushtits reproduce twice a year, usually from the same nest. They may lay 4–10 eggs in a brood, which hatches in 11–13 days and flies away in another two weeks.

All of the participating birds—parents, helper adults, and babies—live inside the nest during the busiest times of the activity. During these times, you can frequently observe their nest humming with activity.

The Montezuma Oropendola is a tropical bird. Its natural habitats are the Caribbean, central Panama, and southeast Mexico. It also occurs in old plantations and coastal lowlands.

Among the world’s densest concentrations of avian real estate are their nests. As many as 24 birds can nest in each colony; one colony was known to have 172 nests!

Each hanging nest is anywhere between 24 to 40 inches tall. These birds make their nest from fibers and vines, which makes the nest elastic and stretch downwards. Their mating and nesting season usually runs from January to May.

which bird makes hanging nest

From the coast, the Montezuma’s nests are visible; they dangle from trees like fruits. These nests are about 30m above the ground. Only females build nests in this species.

There is one dominant male bird per colony, and he mates with all of these females. In order to gain control over a nest, the dominant male bird fends off challenges from other male birds. Other males take up the role of guarding the females when the dominant male departs.

Each bird lays only two eggs in a clutch, and

A latch contains two eggs, which are incubated by both males and females. The eggs hatch in 15 days, and the chicks fledge in 30 days.

The warbling vireo is a songbird native to North America. Their breeding grounds are in Florida, Mexico, and Alaska; in the winter, they migrate to Mexico and Central America.

Warbling vireos breed from May to august. They build their nests anywhere from three to 140 feet up in deciduous trees.

Their nests are in a hanging cup shape. Every nest measures roughly 3 inches across and 3 inches tall.

Their nests occasionally have a conical appearance because they hang two ends of the nest from twigs with forked arms.

which bird makes hanging nest

In their natural habitats, warbling vireos construct their nests using readily accessible materials like lichens, moss, and twigs. Additionally, they weave the nest together using cobwebs and plant debris.

The nests are made mostly by females. One method they employ to expedite the construction of their nests is pilfering materials from other birds.

Warbling vireos lay eggs for approximately 12 to 14 days, and they can breed once or twice a year.

The Regulidae family of songbirds, which includes golden-crowned kinglets, is native to most of North America.

Kinglets build their nests at elevations of between 60 and 100 feet above the ground. They nest in isolated locations, mostly in wooded bogs, montane groves, and boreal coniferous forests.

Male and female Golden-crowned Kinglets contribute to nest construction. The nest is shaped like a cup and is fastened to a twig at each of its four corners. Nesting season typically starts in the first week of May.

They occasionally construct nests that are perched on other twigs, or the nest may be entirely suspended in the air.

which bird makes hanging nest

Their nest is about 2-3 inches tall and has a diameter of 3 inches. They use plant materials, lichens, mosses, spiderwebs, and insect cocoons to construct these nests. Feathers and deer hair line the inside of the nest.

Before the chicks learn to fly, the elastic nests can hold them for a considerable amount of time.

The eggs and nestlings are looked after by both male and female birds. The eggs hatch in about 14–15 days, and the young need another 19–24 days to be able to fly.

One of the most exquisite and sophisticated hanging bird nests in the world is crafted by the baya weaver. Native to Southeast Asia, particularly the Indian subcontinent, these birds

These gregarious weaver birds use rough grasses, palm frond strips, and paddy leaves to construct their nests. Some of these enormous palm frond strips measure up to 24 inches in length.

The weaver bird needs to make up to 500 trips back and forth to finish building a nest—just to gather strips.

Baya weavers breed during the monsoon season. Surprisingly, the male baya weaver constructs the nest while the females are polygamous.

which bird makes hanging nest

The lovely nests that we observe are actually not meant for nesting. The male bird uses these exquisite works of art to entice the female.

The female selects her partner based on a variety of criteria, including his ability to build a sturdy nest, its location (specifically, how high up a branch it is), and others.

She is the one who actually finishes the nest after she chooses a mate, adding feathers and other softer materials to get the nest ready for the babies.

Baya weavers lay about 2-4 eggs in each breeding season. For 14–17 days, the female sits on the eggs to incubate them. After hatching, both female and male birds feed the offspring. The chicks fledge after another 17 days.

Purple-rumped sunbirds are another bird that constructs a hanging nest. It is native to the Indian Subcontinent and Australia.

These birds live in trees but not in dense forests. The female purple-rumped sunbirds build the nests; the male does not assist in this process.

She constructs pouch-like nests out of plant fibers, cobwebs, bark fragments, seeds, lichens, and other materials.

Then, in order to make the nest cozy, she lines the interior with Calotropis seed fuzz. She positions the nest so that its entrance faces a bush at the end of a branch.

which bird makes hanging nest

Purple-rumped sunbirds occasionally nest on porches or adjacent buildings. When these birds build a nest, they don’t start laying eggs right away.

The female birds return to the nest she constructed when it’s time to lay eggs.

The purple-rumped sunbird produces only two eggs at once. For roughly 14 to 16 days, the eggs are incubated by both the male and female of the species.

After another 17 days, their chicks begin to grow and eventually take flight. These birds occasionally use the same nests for the following breeding season.

Known by their common name, firecrests, these passerine birds are members of the kinglet family. These birds breed in northwestern Africa and temperate Europe. During the winter, firecrests from northern and western Europe migrate southward.

The common firecrest’s nest is compact. It has a diameter of about 3. 1 inches and is about 2. 8 inches tall. The thickness of the wall is around 2 inches.

The firecrest build nests that have three layers. The nest usually hangs about 2. 5 meters to 20 meters from the ground.

which bird makes hanging nest

To support the nest, the outer layer is made of twigs, moss, lichen, cobwebs, and spider webs.

To make the nest cozy for the potential hatchlings, there is moss in the middle layer and feathers in the inner layer.

The common firecrest lays about 7-12 eggs in each clutch. The female bird incubates the eggs. The eggs hatch after around 14. 5-16. 5 days and fledge after another eight to ten days.

Both male and female birds feed their offspring.

One more bird that constructs hanging nests is the warbling white eye. These birds are indigenous to Taiwan, Korea, Japan, eastern China, and the northern Philippines. During the winter, they migrate to Hainan Island, Vietnam, Thailand, and Burma.

A pair of warbling white eyes build their nests together. The nest is suspended approximately 100 feet above the ground.

It takes these birds seven to ten days to finish building their nest. They construct their nest using a variety of materials, including lichens, spider webs, moss, and the hair of mammals.

which bird makes hanging nest

The warbling white eyes not only gather materials but also pilfer them from other birds. They make nests in the shape of a cup. Each nest is about 1. 7 inches in diameter and 2. 2 inches in height.

Mostly, white eyes use their nest only once. However, these birds do breed in three clutches. As a result, they occasionally have up to three nest usages in a single season.

About two to five eggs can be found in a clutch of squirming white eyes. Both males and females incubate the eggs. It takes them about 11-12 days to hatch.

After fluttering for an additional 11–12 days, the young spend a further 15–20 days with their parents before taking off on their own.

Goldcrests, like common firecrests, belong to the kinglet family of birds. Although they are native to Europe, a few subspecies can also be found in other Asian countries and the Himalayan regions.

The smallest birds in Europe are goldcrests, which are about three inches long and weigh about a quarter of a pound.

The majority of breeding habitat for these birds is mountainous forests with coniferous trees. They usually hang their nests on branches of conifers. Following the breeding season, they relocate to deciduous trees and shrubs.

which bird makes hanging nest

Goldcrests build three layered hammock-styled spherical nests. The outer and middle layers of the nest are constructed by them using lichens, moss, and spider webs.

Then, to improve the nest’s comfort for their young, they line the inside layer with feathers.

These birds hang their nests close to the ground. Their nests are around 3. 5 inches in diameter from the inside. They can dangle between three and seventy-two feet above the earth.

Goldcrests lay about six to thirteen eggs in one clutch. The eggs are incubated by female goldcrests, and it takes 16 to 19 days for them to hatch. They fledge in another 17 to 22 days.


What kind of bird builds a floating nest?

A variety of waterbird species of several families, especially grebes (Podicipedidae), gallinules, rails, and coots (Rallidae), jacanas (Jacanidae), and some gulls and terns (Laridae), use aquatic vegetation to construct floating nests, which are typically anchored to emergent or submergent vegetation (e.g., Bent 1919, …

What birds nest in hanging flower baskets?

It’s not uncommon for gardeners to find house finches, mourning doves or robins nesting in hanging baskets. At first you may react with delight—baby birds are so ugly they’re cute. However, in most cases hanging baskets occupy areas we frequent during the spring and summer—balconies, patios or porches.

What do oriole nests look like?

Nest Description Baltimore Orioles build remarkable, sock-like hanging nests, woven together from slender fibers. The female weaves the nest, usually 3 to 4 inches deep, with a small opening, 2 to 3 inches wide, on top and a bulging bottom chamber, 3 to 4 inches across, where her eggs will rest.

What kind of bird makes a nest out of sticks?

House Wrens build bulky nests out of twigs, usually topped off with a cup of grasses, plant fibers, feathers, and hair. Male House Wrens build several ‘dummy’ nests entirely of twigs, and the female chooses one to complete with the cup of grasses.