Teeny Tiny Nests

Fluted Bird’s Nest fungi look like the nests of teeny tiny birds, but these ‘eggs’ are really spore cases called periodoles. The ‘nests’ are actually splash cups called a sporocarps.

The scientific name for these tiny, wondrous fungi is Cyathus striatus.

The immature nests are a lighter color and have a thin skin on top, so that the ‘eggs’ will not get launched out by a raindrop before they are ready.

Fluted Bird’s Nest / Cyathus striatus

The mature nests are darker brown with gray ‘eggs’ ready for takeoff during the next rain.

This last shot shows a mix of mature and immature nests. Nature is beautiful and magical.

Cyathus striatus

FLOW on Fungi

Itty Bitty Bird’s Nests

These fungi have the common name of “Bird’s Nest” or splash cups.

Each may look like a tiny nest full of eggs, but it acts like a catapult .

No bird mama would shoot her precious eggs out of the nest like balls from a canon,

but this Cyanthus olla does just that.

These tiny splash cups are ripe and ready for rain.

Bird’s nest fungi Cyanthus olla

When a raindrop plops into the cup, it triggers an ejection mechanism (funiculus)

to shoot out the eggs (peridioles) with a coil and sticky blob attached.

This contraption flies a few feet into the air and the coil wraps around whatever it hits.

The “egg” hangs around until it dries and splits open, releasing its spores.

Bird’s nest fungi Cyanthus olla

Then many more itty bitty bird’s nest form.  Who knew fungi could be so fun?