14 December 2019

A gift to Darwin museum from Astrakhan Biosphere Nature Reserve – a nest of the Eurasian penduline tit

An unusual gift from the South of Russia arrived at Darwin museum – a nest of the Eurasian penduline tit or European penduline tit (Remiz pendulinus).

A passerine bird is famous for its unique nest construction reminding a mitten. The nest has a complex structure and is made of plant fibers, fluff, and seeds, which are mounted on branches hanging over the water.

During the mating season, the male builds several fluffy, round nests - “mittens”. The female chooses the best nest for herself, helps to arrange it and lays eggs. After 2 weeks, chicks hatch. Bird nests can be used only once, and after that, they hang until winter comes and the strong wind knocks them down.

The director of Astrakhan Biosphere Nature Reserve Nikolai Tsimlyansky decided to donate one of these nests on a white willow branch to Darwin Museum as a token of gratitude for organizing a photo exhibition about the nature reserve under the title “Preserving the Future for 100 years”, which was held at the museum this July.

The Eurasian penduline tit (Remiz pendulinus). Photo by Eugeny Polonsky

An empty nest of the Eurasian penduline tit Astrakhan Biosphere Nature Reserve. Photo by Natalia Soudets.

The nest at Darwin museum

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