Putting all your eggs in one …

Another Kenyan post.

Some birds work hard gathering nesting materials, some build elaborate nests, and some barely bother. It’s all in the genes.

This swallow has a beakful of mud from a tiny puddle behind it, destined for its nest:

Weaver birds are so-named because they weave basketry concoctions, like this White-Browed Sparrow Weaver:

The finished object reminds me of a certain type of raw-edged straw hat,

For scale, here is a nest that had fallen from the tree:

Inside, there are some guineafowl feathers, for softness.

The male weaves the nest, and the female then comes and inspects his handiwork. If she doesn’t approve, she refuses to move in.

The Black-Capped Social Weaver goes a step further. They build large colonies of up to 60 nests, at the very end of slender twigs, making it harder for predators to reach the eggs. Their nests (jointly woven) start with a ring, and then they are rounded off:

They have an entrance and an exit, but once the eggs are laid the exit is closed.

Not shaggy, but neat and tidy and carefully planned, I think they would win the Grand Designs TV award.

In complete contrast the Crowned Lapwing hides its eggs in plain sight.

Here is a male (left) displaying:

The eggs are laid on the ground, where a shallow depression offers only a sketchy attempt to provide a home for them:

Instead of investing time and energy in highly skilled home construction, the parents hang around nearby, and loudly harass any marauders, such as jackals.

Finally, perhaps most extreme, is the Eurasian Nightjar. The female is sitting on the nest in this photo, and we nearly trod on her.

Here she is in closeup:

She waits until the last possible moment to move, counting on her excellent camouflage, but once she does fly up and the eggs are revealed, they are still not easy to see:

And in closeup:

A range of different strategies, each successful in its own way.

3 thoughts on “Putting all your eggs in one …”

  1. I particularly liked the donut shaped nest, complete with hole, a hole that is closed up when eggs are laid!! Imprint THAT on your genes.


  2. The variety of bird nests is amazing, from Hummingbird to Eagles…and their eggs, too. I’ll need to look up an Ostrich nest. Amazing how camouflaged the Eurasian Nightjar is…& such pretty eggs.


  3. I love birds so much, almost more than any other animal. These nests, eggs and strategies are so amazing, and so different in some ways from out North American birds. Love it!! And thank you!


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