squirrel's picture

Things in old birds nest

Observed: 29th January 2009 By: squirrelsquirrel’s reputation in Invertebratessquirrel’s reputation in Invertebratessquirrel’s reputation in Invertebratessquirrel’s reputation in Invertebrates
Birds nest
birds nest 1

found in old birds nest can see 1 is a flea, not sure the other was about 1cm long while stretched and moved like a caterpillar

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Peter M McEvoy's picture


the things people poke around in :)

New Flora of the Isle of Man


RHoman's picture

Now the fun begins

I'm not sure what any of your specimens are, but hold on to the nest and keep it in a dry place in a sealed container (a big ice cream tub for example). All manner of things could emerge as the weather warms up: there should be more fleas and perhaps some small moths. Last year I managed to rear 30+ White-shouldered House Moths and several Brown House Moths from a couple of tit nests kept when the boxes were cleaned out.

Robert Homan

madasyernan's picture

Ha ha ha ha

I love some peoples idea of fun.

The second photo looks like a flea.

but with approx 60 different species (http://www.fleafree.co.uk/flea_facts/en/bites.shtml yes I have dogs)

I wouldnt know where to start with an id.

Sam, Student.

iSpot training's picture

nest creatures

I agree that you have a flea!

I think the spiny larva is of a fly in family Fanniidae - this was previously considered a subfamily of the Muscidae, which includes the House Fly. There are quite a lot of species in Britain, and several of the large genus Fannia are listed as developing in birds' nests. There is some information about Fannia on this pest control site:

The adult fly looks like being in family Phoridae, sometimes known as scuttle-flies (from their habit of 'scuttling around' rather than flying, I believe). They are a very hard group to identify to species. This large family of flies includes species that develop in decaying organic matter, are scavengers of other dead insects, and are parasitoids of other insects.

An interesting collection of images! As Robert says, there may be more to come if you can keep the nest under observation.

[Whoops - just realised that I added this comment and the identifications while logged in under my 'test name', rather than as 'kitenet' / Martin Harvey!]

dshubble's picture


The adult fly has spines/bristles along the front edge of the wing near the base and I believe this is diagnostic of the family Phoridae.

squirrel's picture

thanks for the info, sadly

thanks for the info,
sadly photo was taken last year, a friend was going to use the nest in an art project ( till she saw how moving the nest was :) )

did not think to keep nest to observe. will do so if chance comes again.