7 Interesting Facts About How Birds Nest
Luke Brugger (public domain)
There's a lot more to bird nests than meets the eye.
- Ducks lay many more eggs than songbirds. For instance, wood ducks can lay as many as 15 eggs in one nesting cycle.
- Not all birds build nests. Two that don’t are cowbirds, which lay their eggs in other birds’ nests, and screech-owls, which use cavities that other birds or critters have hollowed out.
- Ever wonder why there are so many pigeons around? They can nest up to eight times a year.
- Killdeer are fully feathered when they hatch. As soon as they dry, sometimes in as little as five minutes, they will leave the nest.
- Most young don’t stay in the nest long, but it’s a different story with larger birds like owls, hawks, and eagles. Bald eagles will stay in the nest up to 98 days!
- NestWatch is a nationwide program that enlists amateur bird-watchers to monitor nests for scientific research. Last year, volunteers monitored 984 house-wren nesting attempts. See nestwatch.org.
- Fascinated by eggs? Check out The Book of Eggs by Mark E. Hauber, which offers detailed pictures of the eggs of 600 bird species from all over the world.
Originally Published: March 16, 2017