Bracket fungi and nesting birds

Bit of a quick post here, as I have been frightfully busy recently. However, the short nature of this post doesn’t mean it’s a useless one, as you’ll see!

At Hatfield Forest on Sunday, sat this dead horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) that is completely colonised by Ganoderma australe (it probably had a major part in killing the tree, and is now devouring its victim). However, the relationship doesn’t end there, for not only is the fantastic white-rotted wood ideal for many saproxylic insects (Coleoptera and Diptera, notably), but the brackets themselves are evidently good for nesting blackbirds! Certainly, the brackets are durable enough and long-lived enough to give shelter for a good amount of time, and perhaps this is why this blackbird opted to nest here.

A long-dead horse chestnut amongst some developing bramble.
Ganoderma australe absolutely everywhere…
…and down within the inside of one of the buttresses, sits this bird’s nest (probably of a blackbird).
It has the support from the larger bracket beneath and the shelter of the buttress roots and the brackets above. The bramble surrounding it also provides visual shelter from predators.
Bracket fungi and nesting birds

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