Notes on Nesting

Hummingbird gathering nesting material by Terry Maupin

In the springtime, the nesting instinct is in full display with longer days triggering birds to gather just about anything for their nests!

 Ornithologists generally believe nest-building evolved due to shortages of natural cavities.  Birds than could not find satisfactory nest holes probably began to modify less-than-ideal spaces.

A mating pair may make more than 1,000 trips to carry construction materials to their nest site.  The variety of plant and manufactured products used in nests includes almost anything that can be carried.  Nest materials are generally chosen for their ability to cushion, insulate and keep the clutch together.  Adhesive materials, including mud, saliva, caterpillar silk and leaf mold, bind and support the nest.  Water-shedding materials such as lichens and spider webs are often used.  Some matter is selected specifically to sanitize the nest or fight parasites.

We offer ready-to-use nesting materials that your backyard nesters can utilize to cushion and insulate their young, like Pygora Fleece, Hummer Helper and Best Nester.

Many birds display what scientists call site tenacity, or the tendency to return to the same nest site or breeding colony.  Studies have shown that birds with successful broods are more likely to return to the same site the following year, probably due to an increased familiarity with the area.