The design of bird nests native to Guatemala
Flora and fauna research Maya-Ethnozoology

The design of bird nests native to Guatemala

During our expeditions we have found different bird nests in the treetops. The amazing thing about them is the design and location that each species chooses, according to their needs.

The nests are multifunctional structures built by mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and insects. Its principal function is to create an adequate environment for eggs and hatchlings when they are born.

To choose the location, parents consider several aspects: the availability of food, the risk of predation, the presence and behavior of other birds of the same species, the availability of material for the nest and climate conditions.

They also take into account if there is mutualism with other species to protect the nest and chicks.

The material they use to make their nest tends to have colors that camouflage eggs, also include fresh aromatic plants for their antiparasitic properties, to protect the chicks.

Some birds recycle old nests, this reduces the effort of building a new one, but also exposes them to parasites that can be found inside.

During our expeditions we have been able to see different nests. For example, the nests of the Orioles are like bags in the branches of the trees and are made with vegetable fibers. You can find them in the area of Los Amates, Izabal.

The specie Oropéndola Montezuma makes nests similar to orioles nests, although they are better designed and larger, they are also gregarious, they nest in very dense colonies. In a single tree can be up to 150 nests and the construction of each of them takes up to two weeks.

The nests of Oropéndola Montezuma are well known by thousands of visitors at Tikal National Park, as they are very striking. They mainly nest in Ceiba trees, in much of the lowlands of Izabal and Petén, Guatemala.

Another specie that builds complex nests, despite being small, are hummingbirds. The materials they use can be mosses, leaves, lichens, branches, feathers, furs, cotton and even spider webs. In Yaxha-Nakum-Naranjo National Park, Petén, we could see a hummingbird in its nest.

Month after month FLAAR Mesoamerica team makes expeditions in different places of Guatemala. Since August 2018 we have visited Yaxha-Nakum-Naranjo National Park, Peten, Guatemala, where we have observed different species in their habitat and the amazing archaeological sites.

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