Caliology - the study of nest construction & function

 

Scientific interest into the construction and function of bird nests has been increasing over the past few years. There has been a long-held view that nests are simple receptacles for eggs and chicks and that their role in incubation was rather minor relative to that of the incubating adult. However, recent work on nest construction, the materials used in nests and the thermal properties of nests has meant that scientists are keen to better understand the biology of these fascinating structures. 
    
Nest research is now carried on around the world - the photograph is of delegates at 'Nest Construction & Function 2012', a conference I organised at the University of Lincoln. Delegates from 12 different counties, including Australia, the USA and Europe. presented on topics ranging from nest dimensions, the effect of the envionment on nest constructure, through to the cognitive processes used in nest building. The papers were published in Avian Biology Research and are available as a collection of PDFs from the publishers (see http://www.sciencereviews2000.co.uk/blog/view/avian-biology/56/available-now/677).  
    Since 2010 nest research has been a topic of interest and there have been various collaborative papers published. I have worked with colleagues here at Lincoln as well as at the University of Lancaster, the University of Birmingham, the University of Cambridge, and the Treswell Wood Ringers Group (Nottingamshire). These pages detail some of the work we have been doing as well as providing a list of publications to date.
    The project is on-going and I am always after bird nests of known provenance - details of how you could help me are also included on another page. 
 
Dr D. C. Deeming,
School of Life Sciences,
University of Lincoln (cdeeming @ lincoln.ac.uk)