Do birds only make nests in trees? The interesting fact is many birds make nests by digging holes in the ground or wood. When it comes to making nests in trees, some species are out there that make hanging nests, either pendulous or pensile nests.
Now, you might be wondering which birds make hanging nests? Eurasian golden orioles, goldcrests, warbling vireos, common firecrests, purple-rumped sunbirds, Montezuma oropendolas, warbling white-eyes, fan-tailed warblers, American bushtits, and golden-crowned kinglets make hanging nests in trees.
In this article, we’re going to talk about these hanging nest birds, where they make nests, and which materials they use to make nests. So, let’s get started!
Birds That Build Hanging Nests in Tree Branches
#1. Eurasian Golden Oriole
Eurasian golden orioles, or simply golden orioles, are migratory species found in coniferous forests, orchards, riverine forests, and large gardens. These birds are year-round residents in the temperate regions of North America.
The golden orioles make pensile nests that look like bowl or cup-shaped nests. In order to make nests, they mainly use woven grass, sedges, twigs, reeds lined with feathers, fur, down, wool, moss, etc.
The female builds the nest and the male collects materials for that. The depth of this nest varies from 3 to 13 centimeters. You can find their nests below thin, horizontal branches.
Goldcrests belong to the kinglet family. These serial nesters mainly breed in mountain coniferous woodlands. You can often find their nests hanging on the conifer branches. Once the breeding season is over, they move to deciduous trees and shrubs.
Typically, goldcrests make spherical, hammock-positioned, three-layered nests clean and well-insulated. In order to build nests, they use spider webs, lichens, and moss, which are lined with feathers, making sure that the nests are comfortable for offspring.
During their breeding season, the females usually make nests and the males feed their babies. What a loving manner they have!
#3. Warbling Vireo
Warbling vireos are North American songbirds. These birds breed in open deciduous areas of Mexico, Alaska, and Florida. During winter, they migrate to Mexico and some Central American territories. Their breeding season ranges between May and August.
According to Researchgate, warbling vireos make nests in highly basal areas. These birds usually nest in tall, deciduous trees 3 to 140 feet above the ground. The shape of their nests is a slightly round cup, about 3 inches across.
The nests that warbling vireos make remain hung from horizontal twigs. The females sometimes make the nests by stealing materials from their neighbors. The nests are made in male territory. (show dare!)
#4. Common Firecrest
Common firecrests, also known as simply firecrests, are called “the king of the birds” in European folklore. These birds usually breed in lowland broadleaf forests. They prefer cork oak and alder trees to make nests.
Typically, common firecrests build pendulous nests 2.5 to 20 meters high, consisting of three layers and a small entrance hole at the top. The outer part is made of moss, lichens, and spider webs attached to the thin branches of the tree. The middle layer is made of soft mosses lined with down, hair, and fur.
The females usually lay around 6 to 13 eggs. Sparrowhawks and jays can rob the eggs from the nests.
#5. Purple-Rumped Sunbird
Purple-rumped sunbirds are common wild birds usually found in South Asia and Australia. These birds are mainly out there in trees but absent from dense forests. They build pendulous nests hanging with massive spiderwebs from thin branches.
In order to make nests, purple-rumped sunbirds use moss, lichens, grasses, and spiderwebs. The entrance of the hanging nests has a porch at the top and bottom. When they finish making the nests, they abandon the nests.
After several days, the females come back and lay greenish-blue eggs (one or two eggs). Then, the eggs hatch after a week. The interesting fact about the nests is the inner side of the nests is not sharp, so physical damage is not usually seen.
#6. Montezuma Oropendola
Montezuma Oropendolas are mostly found in the coastal lowlands, forest canopies, and old plantations of the Caribbean, southeastern Mexico, and Central Panama. In a colony, these birds make about 30 woven sack nests looking like NBA sticks.
The females build the nests with vines and fibers. The nests are 24 to 71 inches long, hung up to 30 meters high from tree branches. Each colony has a dominant male that fights with other males. Depending on the results of the fight, they get rank.
Once the nests are ready, the females lay a couple of dark-spotted white eggs. They incubate the eggs without their male counterparts for 15 days.
#7. Warbling White-Eye
Warbling white-eyes, also known as Japanese white-eyes, belong to the white-eye family, Zosteropidae. These birds construct hanging open cup-shaped nests. You will find their nests hanging at the end of the branch covered with high vegetation.
Typically, warbling white-eyes make their nests with plant fiber and lichens. Other birds repair their existing nests year after year. That’s why they build nests for every clutch, which is pretty interesting.
Warbling white-eyes take around 4 days to build their nests successfully. A little intriguing fact is that they steal some materials from other birds to save effort and time. How punctual they are!
#8. Fan-Tailed Warbler
Fan-tailed warblers live along the Pacific slope from Nicaragua, Northern Mexico, and some US states, including Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. These birds build pensile nests looking like dome-shaped nests.
The nests are made of grass, plant stems, and fiber lined with finer materials for comfort. The whole nests are sheltered with the bank, boulder, etc. Besides, fan-tailed warblers usually start making nests at the age of 3 to 5 months.
Researchgate says, the males start singing between May, June, and Early July and find out the chasing females. They also collect nesting materials during the same period. How cognitive they are!
#9. Golden-Crowned Kinglet
Golden-crowned kinglets are small songbirds found throughout much of the United States and Canada. These birds construct their nests in remote areas, around 100 feet above the ground.
The elastic nests of golden-crowned kinglets can be found hanging from the small twigs or branches. Why are they elastic? Because when the broods grow, they need adequate space to live.
Like other birds, they make their nests with grasses, plant fiber, and cocoons for outer and inner parts for comfort. Parents do the courtship and lay eggs on the nests. After 19 to 24 days, the nestlings are able to leave the nests.
#10. American Bushtit
American bushtits, also called simply bushtits, are available in North America, particularly the western United States and Mexico. These birds inhabit mixed open woodlands, city parks, and flower gardens.
Typically, American bushtits make pendulous nests by using moss, lichens, and spider silk lined with feathers for comfort. The nests are usually hung on the branches of trees at a height of around 1 to 30 meters.
Both males and females build remarkable hanging nests. They may take a month to finish the nest-building process.
The diversity of the animals, particularly birds, is mind-blowing. Some birds build their nests on the ground, whereas other birds make hanging nests in lofty trees. They camouflage and hide inside the nests.
In addition, they take care of their nestlings and repair the nests at the same time. They also add some insulating materials, like fur, feathers, and downy plants to ensure comfort. Sometimes it ends up with – how can they make a hanging nest?