Common Bird’s Nest

(Crucibulum laeve)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

Common Bird’s Nest

NatureServe

not listed

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Very common and very widespread

Season

Spring through fall

Habitat/Hosts  
Photo by Ginger Halverson

Identification

Common Bird’s Nest occurs on all continents except Greenland and Antarctica. It may be the most common bird’s nest fungus in Canada and the northern two-thirds of the United States. Although common, its small size makes it difficult to see. It obtains its nutrients from dead and decaying organic matter (saprobic). It grows scattered or in groups on sticks, wood chips, humus, vegetable debris, and manure. It does not grow on larger logs or on the ground. It is called “bird’s nest” because mature specimens have the appearance of a bird’s nest with several eggs.

The fruiting body is a very small, stalkless, single-layered, hollow, bowl-shaped “nest” containing several tiny, egg-like capsules. It is cushion-shaped when it first appears. As it grows it becomes cup-shaped, narrow at the base, and widely flared at the more or less circular rim. When young, the outer surface is yellowish, densely covered with velvety or shaggy hairs, and topped with a thin, hairy, yellowish-tan lid. At maturity the nest is 3 16 to ½ tall and about as wide at the mouth. The outer surface sloughs off leaving a hairless, brown, shiny surface. The lid ruptures and disappears revealing several capsules and a smooth, white to silvery-gray or pale cinnamon-colored inner surface. There are no tooth-like projections on the rim.

The eggs (peridioles) are circular, flattened, 1 32 to 1 16 (1 to 2 mm) in diameter, and white to grayish-white or very slightly buff. They are attached to the side of the nest by a long, thin, elastic, white cord that can be seen only with a hand lens, a needle, and patience. The eggs are disbursed by raindrops and wind.

Common Bird’s Nest may be edible but is too small and tough to be worth the effort.

 
Similar
Species

 


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 4, 24, 26, 29, 30, 77.


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Taxonomy

Division:

Basidiomycota (club fungi)

 

Subdivision:

Agaricomycotina (jelly fungi, yeasts, and mushrooms)

 

Class:

Agaricomycetes (mushroom-forming fungi)

 

Subclass:

Agaricomycetidae

 

Order:

Agaricales (gill mushrooms)

 

Family:

Nidulariaceae (bird’s nest fungi)

 
Synonyms

Crucibulum laeve

Cyathella laevis

Nidularia laevis

Peziza laevis

 
Common
Names

Common Bird’s Nest

Common Bird’s Nest Fungus


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Saprobic

Obtaining nutrients from non-living organic matter, such as decaying plant or animal matter.

       

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Ginger Halverson


"The Nidulariaceae ('nidulus' - small nest) are a family of fungi in the order Agaricales. Commonly known as the bird's nest fungi,"

Wikipedia

  Common Bird’s Nest   Common Bird’s Nest

       
       
       

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  Common Bird's-Nest (Crucibulum laeve)
Bill Keim
 
  Common Bird's-Nest (Crucibulum laeve)  

 

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Ginger Halverson
May 2015

Location: Found these in May 2015 on my old wood mulch. Near Sunburg MN.

"The Nidulariaceae ('nidulus' - small nest) are a family of fungi in the order Agaricales. Commonly known as the bird's nest fungi,"
Wikipedia

Common Bird’s Nest


     
     
 

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