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Several Different Types Of Birds Will Live And Breed Within Termite Nests

January 8th, 2018

Several Different Types Of Birds Will Live And Breed Within Termite Nests

Despite the fact that termites are one of the most environmentally beneficial species of insects that exist, they are not studied as often as many other types of insects. The relatively small amount of termite related studies may not surprise most people. After all, termites are somewhat boring. While many people may find termites themselves to be uninteresting, the massive mounds they build are undeniably fascinating. Termite mounds have been of interest to entomologists and other scientists for centuries. As it turns out, humans are not the only animals on earth that find termite mounds interesting. Birds have a vested interest termite mounds as well, with several bird species actually using termite mounds as their own nests. In total, there are over forty nine different bird species that live and breed within termite nests. These nests include ground level termite nesting mounds as well as nests that are located within trees.

Parrots are one of the most popular types of birds that dwell within termite nests. Hooded and Golden-shouldered parrots will invade termite nests by using their beaks to break away the moist dirt that coats many termite nesting mounds. Many types of parrots avoid invading termite nests when they are actively being built. This is because productive termite workers may steal parrot eggs during a nest’s construction.

Most Kingfisher bird species that inhabit Australia dwell within termite nests. In fact, twenty five percent of all kingfisher species that exist in the world today inhabit termite nests. Some of these birds also nest within hollow logs or stream banks. But the paradise kingfisher species nests exclusively within termite mounds. Many kingfisher species will fly directly into mounds in order to create an entrance hole. Sometimes kingfishers die of impact as a result of striking the hard mounds at a fast rate.

In almost all cases, birds will invade termite nests that are still inhabited by the insects. Birds are attracted to inhabited termite nests because abandoned nests tend to be less structurally sound. Once a bird accesses a termite nest, the native termites will build barriers within the nest in order to separate them from the bird’s living area.

Have you ever heard of any mammalian species that make homes out of termite nests?

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