Some birds woo a mate by building the best nest. Males of many weaverbird species construct a series of intricately woven nests to impress a prospective partner. A male Red-winged Blackbird can even attract multiple mates if he controls prime breeding territory. Adélie Penguins construct their nests on mounds of stones, and partners often exchange stone gifts during the course of construction.
The Best Nest
Written by Wenfei Tong
This is BirdNote.
For some birds, having the best nest is a key part of attracting a mate. Males of many weaverbird species construct a series of intricately woven nests with which to lure a prospective partner. If a female is dissatisfied with it, though, she doesn’t just move on — she tears the nest apart, as if to show her disdain.
A male Red-winged Blackbird can even attract multiple mates if he controls prime breeding territory where nests can be built over the water, making them less accessible to predators like racoons.
Adélie (pron. uh-DAY-lee) Penguins construct their nests on mounds of stones, which help guard against flooding, and partners often exchange stone gifts during the course of construction. Unfortunately, stones can be in short supply, which leads to skirmishes within the nesting colony, as stones are stolen and fiercely guarded. No stone, one might say, left unturned.
For BirdNote, I’m Wenfei Tong.
Senior Producer: John Kessler
Production Manager: Allison Wilson
Producer: Mark Bramhill
Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Southern Masked Weaver ML279961 P Boesman, Red-winged Blackbird ML191788 B Mcguire, Adelie Penguin ML51695 P Coopmans
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
© 2021 BirdNote March 2021/August 2023 Narrator: Wenfei Tong
ID# nest-11-2021-3-12 nest-11