What does the Tailorbird use to stitch its nest?

Common tailorbirds are small songbirds found in many parts of Asia. They are less than 15 cm long and have greenish upper parts and a chestnut-coloured patch on the head. Their pointed tail is usually held upright and they keep flitting between branches. And yes, they get their name for the incredible nests they build, er… stitch.

A stitch in time…

While some species use nests for roosting, most build and use their nests for laying eggs and raising their young ones. And it’s for the latter that the tailorbird too uses its nest. But it’s no ordinary nest! It’s linked to a craft and no two nests may look the same. The nest is fashioned out of leaves that are broad and strong enough to support and safeguard the eggs and the chicks. With its needle-like beak, the bird punches tiny holes along the edges of the chosen leaves that are still attached to the tree branch. The holes are so tiny that they do not affect the leaf in any way. In fact, the leaves remain green and help with camouflage. The bird then carefully stitches together the edges of these leaves using plant fibre or insect silk – just like humans work with a needle and thread! When the leaves are stitched, they resemble a cup. Once the cup is ready, the bird then cushions it inside using feathers, fur, grass, cotton, etc. if a thread or leaf is damaged mid-way, efforts are taken to repair the nest. However, if it’s beyond repair, it’s abandoned and a new one is stitched. The putting together of the nest is also a gentle lesson for us on sharing of work – while the female stitches the nest, the male brings in the supplies.


Picture Credit : Google