21 June 2009

Nest sharing birds

This is a continuation of Friday's post about a large stork nest in Turkey. At the end of that post I noted that there were many small birds congregated around the storks' nest. The reader Tristram Brelstaff, who writes the blog Life and Opinions, asked in his comment if the little birds were nesting in the underside of the storks' nest. After I re-examined the original photos, I realized that that was indeed what was going on.

Here is the evidence. First, another picture of the storks in their nest. The red arrow on the left is pointing at one of the small birds. I suspect it is either some sort of sparrow or a swallow, perhaps a sand martin (bank swallow, Riparia riparia).

BesteStorks4

The green and yellow arrows are pointing at additional individuals. That those are birds is indicated by the yellow arrow. Look at it closely. Now look at the same spot in the next picture. The object in the hole is missing.

BesteStorks5

The blue arrows are pointing at the holes tunneling into the storks' nest. There are several others. They all appear to be bird nests. What we have here is a giant communal nest. My sister has remarked: "Yes, they live in an apartment building. The storks are in the penthouse".

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