Share it! Science : See it? Share it! Beautiful Bird's Nest Fungus

See it? Share it! Beautiful Bird's Nest Fungus

I was almost giddy when I discovered some bird's nest fungus, or Nidulariaceae in one of our flower beds this fall. Giddy? Yes. I think these are some of the most beautiful little fungi around. Because they are small, they might go unnoticed during a walk in the woods. As the name suggests they look like little nests full of eggs shrunken by a shrink ray!

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Fungus comes in such a wide variety of forms with fun and quirky names. Witches butter, turkey tail and hairy curtain crust just to name a few. Although you should always err on the side of caution when it comes to investigating mushrooms and other fungus with kids, they are fascinating organisms to search for.

Why not go on a funky fungus scavenger hunt? Keep a "leave no trace" policy and rather than touch or pick the fungus, photograph it or sketch it with some colored pencils in a nature journal. How many different types can you find? Grab a field guide to help you identify and learn more about your discovery.

If you are exploring with adults or teenagers and there is no risk of anyone taste-testing something they shouldn't, you might want to try making spore prints from mushrooms. Not only can this help you identify your fungus, but they are also beautiful!

What type of funky fungus did you find? Share your pictures with us on Facebook or Twitter.

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