nesting colony

Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis)

The cattle egret is a cosmopolitan species of heron found in the tropics, subtropics and warm temperate zones. Originally native to parts of Asia, Africa and Europe, it has undergone a rapid expansion in its distribution and successfully colonised much of the rest of the world in the last century. It is a white bird adorned with buff plumes in the breeding season. It nests in colonies, usually near bodies of water and often with other wading birds. They often accompany cattle or other large mammals, catching insect and small vertebrate prey disturbed by these animals.The adult cattle egret has few predators, but birds or mammals may raid its nests, and chicks may be lost to starvation, calcium deficiency or disturbance from other large birds.

photo credits: wiki

December 21, 2016 - Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)

These terns are found along much of the west coast of North America, and along the coasts of South America, Central America, Africa, Europe and Southern Asia. Their diet is made up of fish, which they catch by diving into the ocean, as well as shrimp, squid, worms, and insects. Building their nests on the ground in large colonies, both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks. If a nesting colony is disturbed, the chicks leave their nests and gather together in a large group called a “creche.” The chicks recognize their parents’ voices and leave the creche to feed when their parents call.

collecting the group names of animals for years, he learned that zebras form a zeal, whereas worms a clew (a gluey word), wolves a pack in general but route in moving; weasles form a gang, and whales, a mod; vultures form venues but while circling, kettle; turkeys, rafter; toads, knot; tigers, ambush; termites, brood, but ants, army–although termits and ants are equally apt to form colonies and nests–bacteria put together a culture, and albatrosses, rookery; baboons, troop; badgers, cete; barracudas, battery; bats, cloud; bloodhounds, sute; camels, flock; cats, pounce or clatter, and sometimes nuisance, but as kittens, they form kindle and litter. cheetahs make coalition, whereas coyots, band; crabs organized cast; deer, leash; dolphins, pod; ducks, team or paddling; foxes, skulk; giraffes, tower; goats, tribe; hedgehogs, array; kangaroos, herd; nightingales, watch; pekingese, pomp; porkupines, prickle; jackrabbits, husk, but young rabbits are called nest; salmon, run; sharks, shiver or school; snails in groups are known to bring into existence the escargatoire; and swans, bevy.


 A rat that forms an unnatural hierarchical structure with other CREATURES and gets feeds. It is designated as an object of extermination by law in order to destroy existing ecosystems.
 Its coat is black, or almost black gray, but it is known to be very difficult to distinguish. In addition, it may be mimicking Cultapeti, Circle-youth Tiger, How-self-help Mouse and the like.
 The reason why this CREATURE are targeted for extermination is its very malicious predatory activity. First, rats pick up garbage such as a large amount of pebbles and twigs, distribute widely them, and make colonies beyond seeds with other CREATURES. These CREATURES offer food and nests in return for colony entry.
 And the creatures that received the garbage will give them to another creature, and try to expand the colony. If it succeed this attempt, it can get food etc, but in most cases you will fail and it will be kicked out from the previous colony as well. Ultimately it is abandoned from the family and loses everything in many cases.
 In this way, Pyratmid builds a new ecosystem with its own vertex and destroys the surrounding environment. Regions subject to disinfection continues to expand, but it is still far from extinction. Only the barking that calls for mates, the colonies that cease to function, and the carcasses of CREATURES continue to increase in a rat-like manner.

November 25, 2016 - Long-eared Owl (Asio otus, previously Strix otus)

Requested by: @derbytup

These owls are found in most of the subarctic areas of the northern hemisphere. Their diet consists mostly of mammals, usually rodents, but they will also hunt small birds, bats, snakes, and other vertebrates. Their excellent hearing helps them hunt, allowing them to catch prey in total darkness. Outside of the breeding season they may roost in groups of up to 100 birds. When nesting, they sometimes form loose colonies with nests about 50 feet (15 meters) apart. They often use abandoned nests of other species of birds, such as ravens and hawks, or nest in tree or cliff cavities or sometimes on the ground. Females incubate the eggs and remain with the chicks almost constantly for about two weeks after they hatch while males bring them food.

All dinosaurs hatch from eggs, including extinct dinosaurs and modern birds; as do crocodiles, the living group most closely related to dinosaurs. Until the 1980s, discoveries of fossilized eggs and bones of young dinosaurs were extremely rare, but dinosaur eggs have now been discovered on several continents, and fossils of hatchlings, juveniles, and adults have been found for most major groups.

One remarkable find was in Montana, where fossils of duckbill dinosaurs, including eggs, nests, hatchlings, juveniles, and adults were found together in one death assemblage, or mass grave. The eggshells in the nests were badly broken, arousing speculation that the hatchlings might have crushed the eggs while moving around the nests. Some paleontologists think this site was a nesting colony, where adult dinosaurs cared for their young during the first several months after hatching.

Learn more about dinosaur eggs in the exhibition Dinosaurs Among Us, now open.

December 29, 2016 - Sooty Shearwater (Ardenna grisea or Puffinus griseus)

Requested by: @crabbiey

These shearwaters are found across most of the world’s oceans, excluding the Arctic and Indian Oceans. Their diet varies by region, but is mainly fish and crustaceans, along with squid and jellyfish in some areas. Large flocks fish by diving into the water from several feet in the air and propelling themselves with their wings beneath the surface. They also dive from the surface, or hunt while sitting on the water. Traveling a distance of around 40,000 miles (65,000 kilometers) during migration, they breed on the islands surrounding Australia, New Zealand, and the southern tip of South America. They build their nests in large colonies consisting of a network of burrows, each of which can be up to 10 feet (3 meters) long. Both parents incubate the eggs and care for the chicks, often returning to the same nesting site each year.

April 17, 2016 - Little Penguin, Little Blue Penguin, Blue Penguin, or Fairy Penguin (Eudyptula minor)

Requested by: @gepwin

These birds, found in Australia and New Zealand, are the smallest penguin species at around 12 to 16 inches (35 to 43 cm) tall. They eat fish, including sardines and anchovies, as well as cephalopods, and some crustaceans. Spending their days at sea, they cross the shore only at dawn and dusk, to avoid predators. They usually form long-term pair bonds, though pairs do split up, and often nest colonially in burrows, crevices, or caves. Like other penguin species, they go through an annual molt, replacing all of their feathers in a two week period. This process causes them to lose their waterproofing, meaning that they must stay on land without food until they have finished molting. Before it begins they double or triple their food intake, putting on enough fat to get them through the fast.

July 31, 2016 - Rosy Starling or Rose-colored Starling (Pastor roseus)

These starlings are found from Kazakhstan and central Russia to eastern Europe, wintering in India. They feed on insects and grubs during the breeding season, when large numbers of grasshoppers and locusts are found in much of their range. At other times of year their diet widens to include fruit, berries, seeds, and nectar. They are highly social birds, traveling in flocks and breeding in dense colonies. Nesting in various cavities and crevices in rocks and scree slopes, they build the nests from grasses, twigs, and feathers. Both parents share in incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks.

Take a look at the wonderful world of wasp nests! The Museum houses the world’s largest collection of wasp nests, numbering over 1,200 specimens. This colorful nest created by a colony of bald-faced hornets (Dolichovespula maculata). Collected in nearby Rye Brook, NY, this is one of the largest nests in the Museum’s collections, 18 inches long. 

See many more nests. 


April 30, 2016 - White-Headed Buffalo Weaver or White-faced Buffalo-weaver (Dinemellia dinemelli)

These weavers are found in eastern Africa, in parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, and Sudan. They eat insects, seeds, and fruit, foraging mostly on the ground and often following buffalo to find insects and seeds. Pairs build the complex nests by weaving twigs and grasses together and lining them with feathers and fine grasses. They are social birds, often seen in flocks and nesting colonially, with many nests concentrated in the branches of a tree.

April 13, 2016 - Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis)

Originally found in Africa, Europe, and Asia, these egrets arrived in South America around 1877. They spread to the United States in the 1940s and early ‘50s, becoming common there during the next 50 years and reaching as far north as Alaska and Newfoundland. They have also spread to Australia and are now found all over the world. Their varied diet includes insects and other invertebrates, as well as small vertebrates such as fish, frogs, mammals, and other birds. They often follow large animals and machines to catch the insects disturbed by their movement and are also attracted by smoke, catching insects as they escape from fires. Males choose the nesting location and bring materials to females, who do most of the construction. They build messy shallow bowls of sticks and twigs, lined with soft plant materials, nesting in dense colonies. Both parents feed the chicks.