British bird nests

One of my favourite parts of spring is nest finding! Everywhere I go I find myself peeping into bushes and hedgerows to find nests of our British birds!

This year I have been helped by my brother and he is just incredible at finding them! I think it’s because he’s the right height for most of them!

He’s found multiple wren nests by falling over and looking up into a bush, and he pointed to a tree and said ‘I think there will be a nest in there’ and sure enough there was!

So here are some of our nest finds!


Robin nest – we found this nest in the roof of our porch where the building work is still open!

Most Robin nests are located on or near the ground in hollows, nooks and crannies, climbing plants, hedgebanks, tree roots, piles of logs and any other situations which provide a fully concealed cavity. They are also known to commonly nest in unusual places such as in tyres, hanging baskets, coat pockets and boots!

The cup nest, built by the female alone, is made of dead leaves and moss, lined with hair.

Long-tailed tit – One of my goals for this spring was to find a long tailed tit, so when my brother spotted this one I was very very excited!

The nest is shaped sort of like a bottle, usually with a roof and an entrance hole near the top. They carefully construct it in a bush or in the fork of a tree, from moss, camouflaged with lichen with interwoven cobwebs!

Lapwing nest – Lapwings nest on spring-tilled arable land or on short grassland with a low stocking rate. The nest is a scrape in the ground, lined with a variable amount of plant material.

We found this nest whilst ringing lapwing chicks in the same field!

Dunnock nest this was our first find of the year!

As with many birds, the nest is built exclusively by the female, constructed of twigs and moss and lined with moss and hair. Owing to their shy and timid nature, the dunnock’s nest tends to be built within dense shrubs and hedges!

Woodpigeon nest – probably one of the most common nests you’ll find, woodpigeon nests are constructed out of a few twigs randomly placed together!

The nest is built in a tree or large bush, and sometimes old nests of other species are used. There are 2-3 broods per year with just two eggs in each clutch, which both parents take turns to incubate.

Chaffinch nest – Chaffinches build their compact cup-shaped nests in the forks of trees or hedges, and once complete, they will have one brood of around 4-5 eggs, which will be incubated for 11-13 days by the female!

This is the nest that my brother found by looking in a tree which he thought would be a good place to nest!

Wren nest – The most common bird in the UK is the wren. There are thought to be around 8.5 million breeding territories!

The male bird constructs several globe-shaped nests in holes in walls, banks, trees, or old nests from leaves, grass and moss. When the female has chosen a nest, she lines it with feathers

Mallard nest – we found this beautiful Mallard nest on an island in the middle of a pond!

The female builds a nest from leaves and grasses and lines it with down plucked from her breast. Eggs are laid between mid-March and the end of July.

The normal clutch is about 12 eggs, laid at one to two day intervals. After each egg is added, the clutch is covered to protect it from predators.

Coal tit nest – I haven’t had a coal tit in one of the boxes before so I was very excited when I saw a pair flying in with nesting material and soon laying a clutch of eggs!

The nest is similar to that of the Blue Tit (i.e. made from moss, wool, dead leaves and spiders’ webs) except that it is moss-lined. The eggs are small (15 mm by 12 mm) and are smooth, glossy, and white with reddish-brown speckles!

Blackbird nest -Trees, shrubs and climbers are preferred, but Blackbird nests can be found inside buildings, occasionally even on the ground. The nest is a substantial cup of grass, straw, small twigs and other plant material. It is plastered inside with mud and lined with fine grass!

Blackbird eggs are smooth and glossy, 29 x 22mm in size. They’re green-blue or completely blue eggs with heavy red-brown freckles that can make them seem brownish!

They will have 2-4 broods each year depending on weather, and the nest can be reused to accommodate them all!

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