How do birds make their nests? You may have seen birds flying around with twigs in their beaks. This is when most species are preparing to breed. Do all birds make a nest? No, it depends on the species. Some birds do not really make a nest and are content with a quiet corner on the ground that they roughly arrange like quails, partridges or larks. Owls, greenfinches, jays nest in a hollow tree or a hole. Blackbirds, goldfinches and warblers build their nests entirely on a branch. Birds that live close to people, such as swallows or swifts, use barns, houses or roofs to build their homes. Generally all these birds use the materials closest to them: twigs, straw or grass. Sometimes they even pick up bits of wool or cotton that are lying around. Finally, some, like swallows or swifts, consolidate their construction with mud or saliva. And all of them do this by instinct, without having learned it. Finally, in birds, as in other species, there are always some cunning little ones who get others to do the job. The cuckoo, for example, does not make a nest but lays its eggs in a nearby nest. Are these nests threatened? If the bird has not chosen its place well, it is first exposed to predators. In the fields, nests on the ground are sometimes destroyed by agricultural machinery. In the forest, it is important to leave some old dead trees which allow the birds to nest there. Finally, it is especially near humans that the nests are the most threatened. The nests of window swallows in particular, which dirty the facades, have been removed a lot. They are now protected since 2009 and destroying them is a crime. Can we help birds to make their nests? Many initiatives are conducted to protect the nests. Finally, if you are a private individual and you have a garden, you can install a small wooden nesting box. It will make the joy of the red throats or the titmice. But be careful, no more than one nesting box for 100 square meters. Think of installing it in height with a clear opening and protected from rain and wind.