Nesting Habits

Raising Baby Birds

Nesting habits vary a great deal in the bird world. Wild birds prepare for and raise their baby birds in many different ways. Some birds are solitary in their method and others are communal.



There are birds who don’t share this responsibility with their mate. The little Hummingbird is a good example of solo parenting. The male and female do not mate for life.

The female prefers to go it alone. She carries out the whole process by herself; Building the bird nest, incubating the eggs, raising the baby birds and defending her territory. Even chasing the male away!

But many other birds do share this task.

Mourning Doves for example share the task of nest building and raising baby birds. Their nesting habits differ quite a bit from the Hummers.

The female Mourning Dove builds the nest with the material brought to her by the male. Incubating is also evenly divided up. The male usually sits during the day while the female relieves him as needed and does the night shift.

When the babies have hatched they both share in feeding. Interestingly they both share in the feeding of crop milk to the young, then insects and seed.

Some wild birds recruit other adult birds

Robin nest with two chicks

Robin parents share the responsibility of raising their young.

to help them or keep older offspring around to assist with the job. The Tufted Titmouse will often feed their young with assistance from offspring from an earlier brood.

Still, there are feathered friends who, choose to pass their total responsibility along to other unsuspecting parents.

The most commonly known bird who practices this behaviour is the Cowbird.



Communal Wild Birds

baby bird clipart

Still, there are feathered friends who, choose to pass their total responsibility along to other unsuspecting parents. The most commonly known bird who practices this behaviour is the Cowbird.



Variety Is King In The Bird Nursery

Some birds build elaborate hanging basket style nests like the Baltimore Oriole or the simple open nest of the Robin.

Hairy Woodpecker Clipart

Woodpeckers most often share the task of hollowing out the holes in trees in which to raise their young. The instinct to bore holes is so strong in Woodpeckers they usually excavate a new hole every year. This provides a wonderful service to other cavity nesting species. The next year another species of bird will use this cavity for their home.

Some birds just lay their eggs anywhere; on the forest floor or the open tundra.

Whatever method of preparing for and raising their baby birds a wild bird may use; it is a wonderful and fascinating experience to watch their nesting habits.

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