Bird Dads Come in All Shapes and Sizes

Bird dads come in all shapes and sizes, but it's their role in raising their offspring that really sets them apart. Here are a few examples:

  • Downy Woodpeckers share daytime nest duties with their mate. Only the fathers incubate and brood at night and they roost in the nest until their offspring fledge.
  • Chickadee and nuthatch males feed their mate while she incubates and broods the eggs. He also helps feed the young once they have hatched.
  • Downy Woodpecker and American Goldfinch fathers lead their fledglings to food sources, including bird feeders.
  • Male hummingbirds play no role in helping their mate raise their young. To make matters worse, they intimidate the mother and fledglings as they try to use the hummingbird feeders.

Look for these and other seasonal bird behaviors as more and more fledglings show up (with or without their fathers) in your backyard.


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