There are several types of nests. These include mound, scrape, burrow, cavity, cup, pendant, sphere, saucer and platform. Here are the different types of nest of animals (with photos).
Many burrow-nesting birds excavate their own burrows while some use those excavated by other animals. Soil plays a different role in the burrow nest; here, the eggs and young—and in most cases the incubating parent bird—are sheltered under the earth.
Common species that build Burrow
White-browed Tits, Common Kingfishers, Burrowing Owls, Burrowing Parakeet, Buff-breasted Paradise Kingfishers, some Crepuscular Petrels and Prions, Crab Plovers, D’Arnaud’s Barbet, Puffbirds, Sand Martins, Puffins, Shearwaters, some Megapodes, Motmots, Todies, Miners, Leaftossers and most Kingfishers.
Black Woodpecker youngsters in their cavity nest
The cavity nest is a chamber, typically in living or dead wood, but sometimes in the trunks of tree ferns or large cactuses like saguaro. Some species excavate their own cavity nest like woodpeckers, trogons and others while other species use natural cavities or abandoned one like parrots, tits and others
Notable species that nest on cavities
Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Trogons, Barbets, Parrots, Tits, Bluebirds, Hornbills, some Kingfishers, some Owls, some ducks and some Flycatchers
Cup nest of a Common Blackbird
Cup nests are smoothly hemispherical inside, with deep depression to house the eggs. They are usually made of grass and a few are made of spider silk, mud and saliva. The spider silk is a lightweight material which is strong and extremely flexible, allowing the nest to mold to the adult during incubation (reducing heat loss), then to stretch to accommodate the growing nestlings; as it is sticky, it also helps to bind the nest to the branch or leaf to which it is attached
Popular species that build cup nest
Many Passerines, few non-passerines, some Hummingbirds, some Swifts, Kinglets, Crests, Tyrant Flycatchers, Several New World Warblers
Saucer or Plate
The saucer or plate nest, though superficially similar to a cup nest, has at most only a shallow depression to house the eggs.
Some species of bird bury their eggs for incubation. This type of nest is called Mound. It is constructed using soil, branches, sticks, twigs and leaves. Birds lay their eggs within the rotting mass. The heat generated by these mounds, which are in effect giant compost heaps, warms and incubates the eggs.
A Coot Mound
Well-known Species that build Mound
Flamingo, Horned Coot, Mallefowl and Australian Bush Turkey
Platform nests are large structure, often many times the size of the bird which has built them. The platform built by eagles is called eyries. These large nests are often used for many years, with new material added each breeding season.
Well-known species that build Platforms
Ospreys, Eagles, Egrets
Nesting colony of the Red-rumped Cacique (a single bird perched center-left).
Pendant nests are elongated sac woven of pliable materials such as grasses and plant fibers and suspended from a branch. There are several species that weave pendant nests.
Nesting colony of Montezuma Oropendolas
Popular species that build Pendant
Caciques, Orioles, Oropendolas, Sunbirds and Weavers
American Golden Plover’s Scrape nest with four eggs
The simplest nest construction is the Scrape. It is merely a shallow depression in soil or vegetation. This type of nest typically has a rim deep enough to keep the eggs from rolling away. It is sometimes lined with bits of vegetation, small stones, shell fragments or feathers.
Popular species that build Scrape
Ostriches, most Tinamous, many Ducks, most Shorebirds, most Terns, some Falcons, Pheasants, Quail, Partridges, Bustards and Sandgrouse, Lesser Nighthawks and the Red-tailed Tropicbird, Marbled Godwits, Three-banded Courser and Egyptian Plover.
The Sphere nest is a roundish structure; it is completely enclosed, except for a small opening which allows access. One notable maker of sphere nest is the Thick-billed Weaver.
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