Nests and Chicks!
Bird of the Month: Brown-headed Cowbird
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Why do birds build nests? Have you ever seen a nest before? If you have, what did it look like? Where did you find it?
Inquire: Nesting True/False – Explanations
- All birds build nests. ⇒ False. Some do not. For example Brown-headed Cowbirds lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.
- Some birds give birth to live babies rather than lay eggs. ⇒ False. All species of birds lay eggs.
- Eggs and chicks are not always safe in their nest. ⇒ True. Birds such as Blue Jays and crows, and other animals such as chipmunks, raccoons, and snakes will eat eggs if they find them!
- Most birds live in their nests year-round. ⇒ False. Nests are only for laying eggs and raising of young. However some birds like owls will use nest boxes for cover during the day.
- Only the female sits on the eggs. ⇒ False. It depends on the species. Most species co-parent.
- Most baby birds are fed seeds and berries by their parents. ⇒ False. Most birds are fed insects which provide protein for growing chicks. Raptors and herons feed their nestlings meat from fish and animals.
- Birds can breathe inside their eggs before they hatch. ⇒ True. Eggshells are porous enough for gases like carbon dioxide and oxygen to pass through it.
- Eggshells are made out of the same materials as chalk. ⇒ True. Both are made primarily of calcium carbonate.
- The egg yolk (yellow) grows into a baby bird. ⇒ False. The yolk provides food for the growing bird.
- If you find a baby bird you should feed it bread and milk. ⇒ False. Birds cannot digest milk, and bread will not help them! If you find a nestling, put it back in the nest. If you find a fledgling, leave it alone! It is just practicing being out of the nest. When in doubt, call a wildlife rehabilitator.