Posts tagged ‘Saliva’

Do chimney swifts really live in chimneys?

If you live in the eastern part of the United States, perhaps you have watched the sooty-black colored chimney swifts darting over the housetops or disappearing in large numbers into some unused chimney at dusk.

Chimney swifts roost inside unused chimneys by clinging to the inside walls with their sharp toenails and using their short, spiny tail to prop them up.

Chimney Swift

They rarely perch on branches because their feet and legs are small and weak, and cannot support them well.

The chimney swifts build its nest by gluing small twigs to the chimney wall with a glue-like saliva from its beak.  Some nests are almost entirely made up of saliva, and look like half-saucers made of milky glass.

In some countries, men sometimes collect nests and make a soup from them.

During the day, swifts are almost always in the air, flying with a bat like flight.  They like to fly in large groups, capturing insect food while flying.  They almost always return at dust to the chimney where they live in large numbers. – Dick Rogers

 

How do paper wasps make their paper?

Paper wasps build their nests out of paper.  The paper wasp makes its paper by chewing tiny pieces of wood and mixing the pulp with saliva in this mouth.

The wet paper paste is then patted, pulled and stretched to form rows of cells, like those of a bee’s honeycomb.  When the pulp dries, it becomes paper—something like the paper your newspaper is made of.

Paper Wasp

Each cell in the paper wasp’s nest  is a nursery in which a baby wasp will grow.  Hornets and yellow jackets make paper nests, too.

The paper nests are sometimes hung from tree branches or stuck beneath the rafter of an old barn.  They may also be built in the holes in the ground.

Not all wasps make paper nests.  The carpenter wasp bores holes in trees or old posts.  The mud wasp builds a nest of mud.  The cuckoo wasp doesn’t build a nest.  It lays its eggs in a mud wasp’s nest while the occupant is away. – Dick Rogers