Birds Use Spikes to Protect Their Nests

Birds Use Spikes to Protect Their Nests - Eurasian Magpie
Eurasian Magpie

One of the exciting examples of design in the living world is the nesting behavior of birds. We have previously reported on data about birds that nest in peculiar places to protect their eggs and their behavior to thwart predators. We have all seen birds building nests in cliffs or under roof structures, but predatory birds like eagles and hawks can still land on the nests and eat the eggs or baby birds. Scientists have discovered that some birds use spikes to protect their nests from even bird predators.

Researchers in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Scotland found nests in which birds have used long spikes to make it difficult for predators to get to their eggs or chicks. One crow’s nest in Antwerp, Belgium, had 1500 long, sharp spikes. They would make reaching the nest’s occupants extremely difficult for any hawk or eagle. It would also deter other predators, such as cats.

The nests of carrion crows and Eurasian magpies have been found with spike defenses. These birds have used whatever sharp objects they can find in urban areas to build their fortress, including plastic pieces, nails, screws, and knitting needles.

Birds use spikes to protect their nests because God has built into the DNA of various bird species the ability to do unique things to survive. The more we learn about the natural world, the more we should be amazed at the intelligence and design behind all kinds of life on Earth. “We can know there is a God through the things He has made (Romans 1:20).

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Reference: Science News September 9, 2023, page 4.