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The nest design of native birds of Southern Guatemala

Posted Jun 04, 2019

The nests are multifunctional structures built by mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and insects. Its design and location depend on the genus of the species, however, the main function is the same: create an adequate environment for eggs and hatchlings, when they are born.

Female oriole (Icterus sp.) is the one that builds the nest.

Los Amates, Izabal


In birds, the aspects to be taken for the construction of nests are:

  • The location must consider the following aspects:
    • Availability of food for parents and chicks
    • Risk of predation.
    • Presence and behavior of other birds of the same species.
    • Availability of material for the nest.
    • Presence of adequate climatic conditions.
  • Mutualism with other species to protect the nest and the young.
  • Design and material:
    • They usually choose material that manages to camouflage the color of their eggs.
    • Studies show that many birds include fresh aromatic plants in their nests for their antiparasitic properties, to protect the chicks.
  • Recycling of nests: some birds reuse old nests, this reduces the great effort of building a new one, but also exposes them to parasites that may be found inside of them.
The oropendola (Psarocolius ontezuma) they nest in very dense colonies. In a single tree there can be up to 150 nests and the construction of each of them takes up to 2 weeks.

Las Escobas, Izabal
The nests of hummingbirds, despite being very small, are complex. The materials they use can be mosses, leaves, lichens, branches, feathers, fur, cotton and even spider webs. National Park Yaxha-Nakum-Naranjo, Petén

For more photos and information on Oropendolas: www.maya-ethnozoology.org/images-birds-species-bird-watchers-guatemala-mexico-belize-honduras/chestnut-headed-oropendola-psarocolius-wagleri-nests-alta-verapaz-guatemala.php and www.maya-ethnozoology.org/images-birds-species-bird-watchers-guatemala-mexico-belize-honduras/montezuma-oropendola-psarocolius-wagleri-bird-nests-peten-izabal-guatemala.php

For more photos and information on Oriole: www.maya-ethnozoology.org/images-birds-species-bird-watching-guatemala-mexico-belize-honduras/nests-yellow-winged-cacique-birds-cassiculus-melanicterus-guatemala.php

Get even more information with our bibliographies:

Oropendola: www.maya-ethnozoology.org/birds-birdwatching-bibliography-for-birders/bibliography-psarocolius-montezuma.php

Oriole: www.maya-ethnozoology.org/birds-birdwatching-bibliography-for-birders/bibliography-icterus-sp.php

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