Birds are known for their amazing ability to build nests out of sticks, twigs, leaves, grasses, and even hair. They also lay eggs in them. And they raise their young in these nests. But did you know that some species of birds are notorious nest thieves? These birds sneak into other birds’ nests and eat their babies or eggs. In the previous article, we discussed why birds destroy other birds’ nests. But in this article, we will discuss do birds steal other birds’ nests.
Do birds steal other birds’ nests?
The answer is yes! There are many types of birds which have been observed stealing nests from other birds. Some of these include:
• The Great Tit –
This is a common European bird found throughout Europe. It has a black head and neck, prominent white cheeks, olive upperparts and yellow underparts, with some variation among the numerous subspecies. It lays around 12 eggs and incubates them alone. It feeds on insects, berries, seeds, and nectar. Its diet includes caterpillars, beetles, moths, spiders, flies, and wasps.
• The Blue Tit –
This is a small songbird found all over Europe. It has a blue back and a yellow underbelly. It is about 10 cm (4 inches) tall. It has a long tail and short legs. It builds its nest in trees, shrubs, hedges, and buildings. It lays 2-6 eggs and incubates them alone. It feeds mainly on insects, but it will eat fruit, berries, and seeds as well.
• The common cuckoo –
This is an Old World brood parasite. Cuckoos are birds that steal eggs from other birds’ nests. Because it deceives others by pretending to be something else, the cuckoos are among the most famous birds. Due to their unusual reproductive system, we need to pay close attention to understanding how different bird species benefit from each other’s cooperation.
• The Common Starling –
This is a large starling native to Eurasia. It is one of the largest members of the family Sturbridge. It has a dark brown body with a pale grey breast and belly. It has a red eye ring and a black bill. It lives in flocks and roosts during the day. It eats grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. It breeds in colonies and lays 3-5 eggs.
Why do birds steal other birds’ nests?
Some birds have the natural behavior to steal other birds’ nests. For example, the common cuckoo is a brood parasite. A brood parasite is a bird that steals another bird’s egg and raises its own offspring in the host’s nest. Brood parasites can be classified into two groups: parasitic cuckoos and kleptoparasite cuckoos. Parasitic cuckoos are those which parasitize the nests of other birds. Kleptoparasites are those who steal eggs from other birds and then raise their own chicks in the stolen nest.
Kleptoparasites are not limited to just cuckoos. Other examples include the great spotted woodpecker, which takes advantage of holes made by woodpeckers. Another example is the pied flycatcher, which steals the eggs of other birds.
Do birds steal other birds’ babies?
Yes! Many birds steal babies from other birds. One such example is the American cowbird. Cowbirds lay eggs that look like those of the female parent. They also mimic the calls of the parents so they can lure unsuspecting young away from their nest. When the baby birds hatch, the cowbird parents take care of them until they are old enough to leave the nest themselves.
Birds are amazing creatures. We don’t know everything about them yet. There are still many mysteries surrounding this fascinating group of animals. In this article, we discussed do birds steal other birds’ nests and why. Hope you enjoyed reading it.