15 Adorable Photos of Bird Mothers With Babies

Bird moms work hard to raise their babies. Check out our collection of sweet photos of bird mothers with their newly hatched young.

bird mothers, A sandhill crane colt foraging for worms in the grass with its mother.
Courtesy Melissa Hager

Sandhill Crane Mother

Melissa Hager of Lakeland, Florida, witnessed this bird mother and baby and said, “One of the joys of living in Florida is the vast variety of interesting, beautiful birds. This particular sandhill crane and colt wandered by me on a trail at the Circle B Bar Reserve, just a 10-minute drive from my home. I sat down at the side of the trail when I noticed them coming, hoping they wouldn’t let my presence stop them. They passed right by with barely a glimpse my way.”

You need to see these pictures of super cute baby birds.

A female eastern bluebird feeds chicks that are lined up on a branch.
Courtesy Karla Mayberry

Eastern Bluebird Mother

“We’ve been fortunate enough to have a pair of eastern bluebirds raise their family in our yard,” says Karla Mayberry of Chesapeake, Virginia. “This picture from early spring shows the mama with the year’s first set of fledglings. It was about two days after they had fledged, and it was time for chow! Mama had them all lined up, and each one wanted to be fed first. It was amazing to watch the family: the parents building the nest, the bird mother laying the eggs, and the chicks hatching and then flying out to start their own lives.”

Two ruby-throated hummingbird chicks sitting in a nest waiting for their mom to feed them.
Courtesy Stephanie Cullinan

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird Mother

“I love when ruby-throated hummingbirds visit our small yard. This sweet lady grabbed some of the nesting material we put out, and I watched her fly into our tree to a nest she’d been working on. I’d never seen a hummingbird nest, but this one was visible from several windows in our house. I documented the progress every day: nest building, eggs, chicks, feeding and fledging. This photo was taken when the mom came to feed them shortly before the first one fledged,” says Stephanie Cullinan of St. Louis, Missouri. Learn about the life of a female hummingbird.

An eastern kingbird swoops in to feed her young.
Courtesy Dawn Denner

Eastern Kingbird Mother

“It’s always fun and exciting to see birds, like this eastern kingbird, have a successful breeding season,” says Dawn Denner of Levittown, Pennsylvania.

Follow these proven tips to attract nesting birds.

A female killdeer sits on her nest on the ground as it rains.
Courtesy Emma Manuel

Killdeer Mother in the Rain

Being a bird mother is a difficult job, especially when you’re a killdeer and nest in the open,” says Emma Manuel of Call, Texas. “I was truly amazed that I had the opportunity to capture a bird that both my spouse and love. I’ve taken many pictures of killdeer in the past, but none quite as good as this one.” Learn more about killdeer.

A pair of Anna's hummingbird chicks greet their mom as she flies back to the nest.
Courtesy Paul Marto

Anna’s Hummingbird Mother

“In late spring, I was lucky enough to find an Anna’s hummingbird nest with two newly hatched babies. Over the course of about three weeks, I documented the progress of the family with my camera. In this moment, Mama was just returning to her nest of two well-fed babies. Both had their beaks wide open in anticipation of their next meal,” says Paul Marto of Jordan, Utah.

Check out more adorable pictures of baby hummingbirds.

A female common merganser takes a swim with her ducklings.
Courtesy Barbara Frankenfield

Common Merganser Mother

“I knew this female common merganser was nesting,” says Barbara Frankenfield of Hillsborough, New Jersey. “So I waited for her to have her little ones. Once they were all in the water together, they gave me some wonderful photo opportunities. I had so much fun watching them learn how to dive for food—it seemed to come quite naturally to them. The mother was very protective, keeping all of them as close to her as she could.” Discover 20 types of ducks to look for in spring.

A young pileated woodpecker sticks its head out of the nest to be fed.
Courtesy Gilberto Sanchez-Perez

Pileated Woodpecker Mother

“While walking the trails at the Mead Botanical Garden here in Florida, I experienced this amazing moment. A pileated woodpecker mother was feeding her chicks. It was such a magnificent wildlife surprise!” says Gilberto Sanchez-Perez of Orlando, Florida. Meet the best bird dads and learn how they help out around the nest.

A female mallard sits in her nest with a duckling.
Courtesy Isabel Fernald

Mallard Mother

“This mallard duck mother decided to make her nest in the front garden of the bank where I work. We made sure she had enough food and water,” says Isabel Fernald of Valdosta, Georgia. Learn which foods are safe to feed ducks.

A great egret looks down at a young chick in the nest.
Courtesy Donald Gettys

Great Egret Mother

“I snapped a photo of this great egret bird mother and her chick when I went to the Venice Area Audubon Rookery in Venice, Florida,” says Donald Gettys of North Port, Florida. Discover the 10 egrets and herons found in North America.

A family of black-chinned hummingbirds sits at their moss-covered nest.
Courtesy Melissa Cheatwood

Black-Chinned Hummingbird Mother

“This black-chinned hummingbird family of three settled into a tree near our house two years ago,” says Melissa Cheatwood of Bertram, Texas. “The nest was the size of a small espresso cup. The eggs looked like white jellybeans. I felt so fortunate to be able to photograph the babies as they matured and fledged.” Learn how to attract hummingbirds with 9 expert tips.

common loon
Courtesy Dana Nelson

Common Loon Mother

“We were staying in a cabin and Lake Vermillion was our backyard. We went out on the pontoon boat and saw this mother common loon carrying her baby on her back. It made my week,” says Dana Nelson.

yellow warbler nest
Courtesy Joey Reichoff

Yellow Warbler Mother

“This mother yellow warbler carefully hid her nest where she could care for her young until they mature and start the cycle again. I was lucky enough to capture this precious moment between the bird mother and her babies. Time and care. That’s what brings beauty to our backyards,” says Joey Reichhoff.

cardinal nest, what do baby cardinals eat
Courtesy Ryan Schoenfeld

Northern Cardinal Bird Mother

Ryan Schoenfeld shared this photo of a female cardinal feeding babies in the nest. Discover 6 proven ways to attract cardinals.

A newly hatched sandhill crane colt pokes its head out of its mother's feathers.
Courtesy James Ventimiglia

Sandhill Crane Nesting

“It was an emotional experience for me to take this photo. I’ve photographed a pair of sandhill cranes for a number of years. They nest in the same location and are truly a part of the Florida community. The night before I took this photo, I noted that one of the eggs was almost open. But it was getting late. I returned at dawn and the bird mother was on the nest. She raised and lowered her head, and gently lifted her wing to show me her baby. This photo captures not only a mother’s tender love but a moment of sharing between wildlife and a photographer,” says James Ventimiglia of Davisburg, Michigan. Don’t miss these 50 stunning summer bird photos.

Rachel Maidl
Rachel Maidl is a former senior editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. She enjoys bird-watching in her urban backyard and local state parks, gardening for pollinators and researching new plants. Her favorite backyard visitors are the bumblebees that visit her sedums.