Nests and Chicks!

Bird of the Month: Brown-headed Cowbird

Learn about the Brown-headed Cowbird at All About Birds
Click the image for more information!

Supporting Text: On Bird Hill by Jane Yolen

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

  1. All birds build nests. ⇒ False. Some do not. For example Brown-headed Cowbirds lay their eggs in the nests of other birds.
  2. Some birds give birth to live babies rather than lay eggs. ⇒ False. All species of birds lay eggs.
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. Only the female sits on the eggs. ⇒ False. It depends on the species. Most species co-parent.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Eggshells are made out of the same materials as chalk.True. Both are made primarily of calcium carbonate.
  9. The egg yolk (yellow) grows into a baby bird.False. The yolk provides food for the growing bird.
  10. 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.

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