Nest: What You Should Know

A nest is a burrow made by animals. An animal sleeps in this burrow or lives in it like we humans do in our dwelling. Many animals raise their young in a nest, especially birds. The eggs or juveniles are called “clutches” because the mother laid the eggs. Such nests are called “gated nests”.

The nests are different depending on the animal species. When used to hatch eggs or raise young, the nests are usually carefully lined with feathers, moss, and other natural things. Many animals also use things from humans such as scraps of fabric or whatever else they can find.

Some animal species instinctively build nests for their young. They don’t have to think too long about where and how to build their nests. There are also animals that only build a nest to sleep in, such as gorillas and orangutans. These monkeys even build a new sleeping place each night.

What types of clutch nests are there?

Birds often build their nests in trees so that predators have less access to the eggs and young. However, predators such as squirrels or martens often make it anyway. Waterfowl build their nests on the shore or on floating islands made of branches. The bird parents then have to defend their eggs themselves. The swans, for example, are masters of this. Woodpeckers and many other birds build their nests in tree cavities.
Nests of large birds of prey such as eagles are usually high up and difficult to reach. These are then no longer called nests but horsts. In the case of eagles, this is called an eagle’s nest.

Young birds that grow up in a nest are called “nest stools”. These include tits, finches, blackbirds, storks, and many others. However, numerous bird species do not build nests at all but simply look for a suitable place to lay their eggs, such as our domestic chicken. The young animals are running around very quickly. That’s why they’re called “predators”.

Mammals often dig burrows for their nests. Foxes and badgers are known for this. The nests of the beavers are designed in such a way that the parents and enemies have to swim through the water to get into the nest. Kittens, pigs, rabbits, and many other mammals also remain in the nest for some time after birth.

But there are also many mammals that can do without a nest. Calves, foals, young elephants, and many others get up very quickly after birth and follow their mother. Whales are mammals too. They also have no nest and follow their mother through the sea.

Insects build special nests. The bees and wasps build hexagonal combs. Ants build mounds or they build their nests in the ground or in dead wood. Most reptiles dig a hole in the sand and let the warmth of the sun incubate their eggs there.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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