5-1 cm wide and high; roundish cup with a cluster of whitish, disk-like "eggs" inside; brownish cup wider at the rim than the base, especially at maturity; when young, eggs concealed by yellow-white membrane covering the top of the cup; spores are inside the eggs
ON WOODY DEBRIS
TOO SMALL TO EAT
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The bird's nest fungus is one of the easiest mushrooms to identify, once you realize what you're looking at. It's tiny, the "eggs" are tinier, and it looks nothing like a "mushroom." Even the best mycophiles often overlook it, even if it's growing on mulch and in their own gardens.
But, if you do find it, get out a magnifying glass and have a closer look. It's so much like a bird's nest you might be tempted to look around for ground birds the size of cockroaches who might have built the nest and laid the eggs. Disregard this temptation.
Wood or chips bearing the bird's nest fungus probably came from the mountains. Like many other mushrooms, the bird's nest fungus is far more common in the mountains than the city. In fact, many common mountain mushrooms will not grow in the city at all. It's not always clear why, but reasons include: the wrong trees, temperature, altitude, sprays. (Conversely, many city mushrooms are almost never encountered at higher elevations.)
DISCLAIMER: Do not eat any mushroom based solely on the content of this website, which is for informational purposes only. You are responsible for making sure you are 100% positive of a mushroom’s identity before consuming it. You must make sure of this yourself.