Check Out These Wild and Crazy Nests From Nature

Ever wonder what kinds of crazy nests birds and other animals build in nature? You're in for a treat.

Ever wonder what kinds of crazy nests birds and other animals build in nature? You're in for a treat.

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Ever wonder what kinds of crazy nests birds and other animals build in nature? You're in for a treat. We're going to check out some of the wildest, most bizarre nests found around the world, from intricately woven masterpieces to massive apartment complexes housing entire communities. Get ready to be amazed by the architectural and engineering feats of some of nature's most talented nest builders.

Weaver Birds Weave Intricate Nests

Weaver Birds Weave Intricate Nests

Weaver birds are natural born architects, constructing intricately woven nests that are architectural marvels. Some species, like the African golden weaver, build elaborate oval-shaped nests with a long entrance tunnel leading to a nesting chamber. The males do most of the construction, weaving together strands of grass, palm leaves, and other plant fibers into a sturdy nest structure.

Within the nest, separate compartments house the eggs and nestlings. These woven homes provide shelter and protection from predators, insulating the nestlings from harsh weather. The golden weaver nests are reused and expanded over generations, with new entrances and chambers added each breeding season.

The Cape weaver of southern Africa is another skilled nest builder. The male Cape weaver uses strands of grass to weave a spherical nest with a narrow entrance hole at the bottom. He constructs the nest shell and then lines the inside with soft plant down before the female lays her eggs.

Some weaver species, like the red-headed weaver, build communal nests that provide shelter for several breeding pairs. These apartment-style nests feature multiple entrance holes leading to individual nesting chambers within the structure.

The weaver bird’s nest is a architectural wonder and a result of instinct, skill, and diligent work. These woven homes are perfectly adapted shelters where weaver bird families can safely raise their young. The diversity of shapes, sizes, and styles of weaver bird nests showcase the natural artistry and engineering abilities of these avian architects.

Hummingbirds Build Tiny Cup Nests

If you thought hummingbirds only drank nectar, think again. These tiny birds are also expert nest builders, constructing cup-shaped nests perfectly suited to their needs.

Hummingbird nests are tiny marvels, about the size of a golf ball. The female hummingbird gathers soft plant fibers, spider webs, and lichen to build a nest that will cradle her pea-sized eggs and hatchlings. She decorates the outside with bits of lichen and moss to camouflage it from predators.

These nests are perfectly adapted to hummingbirds. Their small size means they can be tucked away in trees, bushes or cacti, sheltered from the elements. The soft, pliable materials keep the nest warm while still allowing it to expand as the hatchlings grow.

The female hummingbird builds the nest by herself. Using her long tongue and beak, she gathers hundreds of bits of material and constructs a nest in about a week. She shapes the base, forms the walls, and creates an opening just large enough for her to slip through.

Once complete, she lays two pea-sized white eggs which she incubates for about two weeks. When the hatchlings emerge, they are blind, featherless, and utterly dependent on their mother. She feeds them every 10-20 minutes from sunup to sundown until they fledge about 3 weeks later.

Though hummingbirds and their nests seem delicate, they are resilient and well-adapted to the challenges of raising a family. The diversity of hummingbird nests, from lichen-covered cups to moss-lined pouches, showcases nature's artistry and the hummingbird's skill as an architect. These tiny nests are a reminder of the wonder that can come in small packages.

Bowerbirds Construct Unique Bowers

The bowerbirds of New Guinea and Australia construct elaborate bowers to attract mates. These bowers are not nests, but rather display structures meant to showcase the male bowerbird’s creative prowess.

Intricate Designs

Male bowerbirds build intricate bowers using an array of materials from the surrounding forest. Satin bowerbirds, for example, decorate their bowers with blue objects like berries, feathers, and plastic items. Vogelkop bowerbirds incorporate massive displays of orchids, flowers and lichen in their bowers. These meticulously arranged collections serve as a way for males to impress visiting females.

Courting Displays

When a female bowerbird visits the bower, the male performs an elaborate courtship display to win her over. He may dance, sing, and flutter around the bower to demonstrate his vigor and skill. The materials and decorations in the bower also play a role, as they are meant to signify the male’s foraging ability and esthetic sense. The female evaluates multiple males and their bowers before choosing a mate, so the males constantly work to improve their bowers and courtship techniques.

A Place to Nest

After mating, the female bowerbird builds a simple cup-shaped nest in which to lay her eggs. She alone incubates the eggs and cares for the young. The male bowerbird continues maintaining his bower in hopes of attracting additional mates. The bower is a place for courtship and mating, not raising offspring.

The bowers constructed by bowerbirds represent some of the most complex structures built by any animal other than humans. These avian architects create elaborate stages meant solely for the purpose of securing a mate, demonstrating that in nature, the drive to reproduce can inspire incredible feats of artistry and ingenuity.

Sociable Weavers Make Huge Communal Nests

The sociable weaver birds of southern Africa are social creatures that build massive communal nests housing up to 100 pairs of birds. These nests are architectural marvels, with multiple chambers and entrances. As the colony grows over generations, new rooms are added onto the existing nest structure.

Some sociable weaver nests have been home to the same colony of birds for over 100 years! These nests can span up to 30 feet across and weigh up to 2 tons. Constructing such an enormous nest requires a group effort. Both male and female weavers gather sticks and grasses to weave together into the nest. They start with a sturdy base and work their way up, creating separate chambers for each pair.

The sociable weavers are aptly named. They are highly social and cooperative in building and maintaining their shared nesting space. Multiple generations of birds live together, helping to raise the young and defend the nest. Their tight-knit social structure provides benefits like predator protection, shared warmth, and food location information.

Yet within these crowded nesting colonies, each pair stakes out their own private chamber for mating and raising chicks. The female lays 2-5 eggs which both parents take turns incubating. Once the eggs hatch, both mom and dad feed the chicks for up to 3 weeks until they fledge.

The massive size and social nature of sociable weaver nests make them a spectacle in the animal kingdom. Their complex nesting colonies showcase the intricate social behaviors that have evolved to support cooperative breeding in these gregarious songbirds of the African savanna.

Ovenbirds Craft Clay Oven Nests

The ovenbird gets its name from the unique oven-shaped nests it constructs. These round nests are made of mud and resemble little clay ovens, complete with an entrance tunnel.

To build their nests, ovenbirds gather mud, grasses, and saliva, which they use as a “glue” to hold everything together. The birds shape this mixture into a dome with an opening on one side. The thick mud walls provide insulation, protecting chicks from the elements.

Once the basic structure is complete, the ovenbirds line the inner nest with softer materials like hair, fur, and feathers to create a cozy interior. The end result is a sturdy yet cozy home perfect for raising ovenbird chicks.

Ovenbird nests are usually placed on the ground, tucked under overhanging roots or sheltered by plants. The dome shape and mud material help the nests blend into the surrounding environment. Predators have a hard time spotting these camouflaged nests, increasing the survival odds for ovenbird eggs and chicks.

The architectural skills of the ovenbird are truly remarkable. Their nests are functional works of art and a testament to the ingenuity of nature. Next time you’re hiking through an ovenbird’s habitat, keep an eye out for these masterful mud homes. You’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the ovenbird’s craftsmanship and building prowess.


And there you have it, some of the most unique and incredible nests found in nature. Whether intricately woven like those of weaver birds, tiny and delicate like hummingbird nests, or massive communal structures like sociable weaver nests, these architectural marvels never cease to amaze. The nest-building techniques of birds highlight their ingenuity and ability to adapt to their environment. The next time you see a bird soaring overhead or hear their calls in your backyard, take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship that went into building their nest. Nature never fails to surprise us with these wild and crazy creations.


Published on Dec 28, 2023