Feathered architects

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Feathered architectsSoon, upon arrival in their native land, the birds are divided into pairs. In some birds - geese, swans, cranes and birds of prey - pairs are formed for life, and in songwriters - usually for one season.

Capercaillie, black grouse and ducks are found only during spring games, and in the future, only the mother bears all the worries about arranging the nest, hatching eggs and raising young animals.

Feathered architectsThere are excellent nest builders among birds, but there are some who make simple and crude nests. For example, a female night owl lays two eggs of a protective coloration on the forest floor. Some species of waders lay their eggs among the pebbles - they are very similar to it.

Feathered architectsIn forest chickens (black grouse and wood grouse), the nest is a hole covered with dry grass and leaves. The eggs laid by these birds have a protective coloration - they are similar to last year's foliage. For nesting, the great spotted woodpecker chooses more often rotting trees or trees with soft wood (aspen, birch and others), not excluding coniferous and hard deciduous species (Norway maple, elm). For two weeks the couple hammers their "apartment". Its dimensions are 39 centimeters long, the largest width is 13, the tap hole diameter is 5 centimeters.

Feathered architectsBirds nesting in hollows (wild pigeons, turtlenecks, tits, flycatchers, starlings, etc.) lay eggs that do not have a protective coloration - they are more often white or blue. The nest is hidden from prying eyes and the eggs do not need protective coloring.

Feathered architectsBirds of prey, as well as storks, jackdaws, rooks build nests and do not hide them, relying on their strength to drive away enemies.

Feathered architectsThe finch builds a beautiful, durable and cozy nest, masking it to match the color of the environment. Such an apartment, located on a beautiful white birch tree, is disguised from the outside by interweaving pieces of birch bark, paper and cotton wool. This sonorous singer nests in forests, gardens, parks, boulevards, and in neighborhood plantings, where paper, cotton wool and lichen are easy to get.

Observe his habitation, located on the branches of the fir. Pieces of bark, lichens taken from the spruce trunk are woven into the outer wall.

Feathered architectsThe wren, the willow warbler and the long-tailed tit are first-class craftsmen.

Feathered architectsTown and country swallows are no less skillful builders - they sculpt cozy nests under the roof from pieces of muddy earth or clay mixed with saliva, lining them inside with soft fluff.

Barn swallows nest in colonies on the banks of water bodies, cliffs, where they dig holes up to £ 1 meter deep, expanding them at the end. On the steep banks, they are not afraid of either predators or reptiles.

Feathered architects“That is why the cuckoo is in misfortune in other people's nests, because it does not have its own,” they say among the people. She lays up to 26 eggs in the nests of wrens, warblers, wagtails, buntings and other small birds. Clutch of eggs lasts up to 1.5 months. It is possible that in connection with the stretched clutch, nesting parasitism developed in it. In our country, there are five types of cuckoos, of which the most numerous is the common one.

The cuckoo throws out one egg of the host bird from the nest or eats it, and then lays down its own. If an egg put in someone else's nest differs sharply from its own, then the owners either throw it away or leave the nest.

But not all cuckoos lead such a life. Some of the southern species incubate eggs themselves or build collective nests and jointly hatch and raise their chicks.

The cuckoo is a "frivolous" mother and at the same time a very useful bird.

Feathered architectsThrushes often nest in colonies, together and vigorously defend their nests, swooping and shouting at their enemies. They build nests in young Christmas trees, under the forest canopy, using dry stalks of cereals, thin branches. In some species, the nests are "plastered" inside.

Feathered architectsIvolga is a good architect.She builds a nest in the fork of thin branches of a large tree in the form of a basket or cradle, suspended from long fibers of grass. It is woven from stems or from bast soaked parts of the bark, and inside it is lined with down, feathers, hair and revetted with moss. If the nest is built on the trunk of a birch, it is masked with thin pieces of birch bark on the side from which the enemy is expected.

To prevent predators from reaching the nest, birds hide them and protect them from enemies. No wonder they say that "in its nest, the raven will peck out the eyes of the kite." Observe carefully and you will see that among the birds there are wonderful diggers, carpenters, modelers, weavers and even potters.

Feathered architectsThe number of eggs laid by our birds is different: the dove lays two eggs, the gull - three, the tit — 10-12, the duck — 16, the capercaillie and grouse — 10—12, the gray partridge — up to 26 eggs.

The incubation period is also different: in pigeons - 15-17 days, in a cuckoo - 11-12, in a common gull - 24, in a sparrowhawk - 34, in a swan - 35 days.

And how many young birds die from stray cats and dogs. Hedgehogs, rats, snakes, snakes, shrews, ermines, ferrets eat eggs and chicks. Many nests die under the hooves of wild and domestic animals.

Feathered architectsCrows and magpies also ravage bird dwellings. A crow sits on the top of a tree for hours and watches. As soon as the parents fly away for food, the crow is right there. And the magpie manifests itself as a predator.

I. Balbyshev

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