About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

In the bird world, children don't return to the nest

Do baby birds return to the nest once they leave?

Some birds will return to the same general areas to nest year after year. During the nesting stage the parents work furiously to get their babies fed and fully fledged as fast as possible, even if babies can only fly a few feet to the nearest bush.

Most songbirds are fed by a parent in a nest for about a month until they are ready to fledge. Then within 24 hours all the babies pop of the nest and the parents take a couple weeks to show the juveniles where to find shelter, food, and water to survive on their own. Once out of the nest the songbirds usually don't return. However, some birds come back after they have taught the first batch of kids to forage to start a second family.

You can clean bird houses between nesting to help deter parasite infestation and a predator’s ability disturb a nest that is built on top of old nests making it closer to the entrance hole. To clean the nest box I usually place a plastic bag over the nest and just sweep it all in and twist the bag shut. You can rinse out the house with a water hose or diluted bleach spray. Make sure the drainage holes are unplugged and leave the house open to dry for a couple days. Finally dispose of the old nest in the trash and wash your hands thoroughly.

If you think that a baby bird may have left the nest prematurely you can pop it back in the nest unless you think the bird is injured then you should call for advice. The best course may be no interference.
Only licensed wildlife rehabilitators may possess abandoned or injured wildlife. A list of licensed rehabilitators can be found by visiting http://www.michigandnr.com/dlr/ or by calling your local DNR office. Below are a few local numbers to call for help:

  • East Lansing, MI ♦ 517.351.7304 ♦ Cheryl Connell-Marsh ♦ birds and small animals
  • Lansing, MI ♦ 517-646-9374 ♦ Tiffany Rich ♦ white tailed deer, squirrels, raccoons; Vet. Tech. on center.
  • DeWitt, MI ♦ 517.930-0087 ♦ Wildside Rehab and Education Center ♦ birds and small animals
And if you are outside of Michigan:
Related Articles:
5 Tips to Attract Birds to Nest in your Bird Houses http://bit.ly/xETceZ
Common Bird House Problems http://bit.ly/wrWzyN
Which Way Do You Face a Birdhouse? http://bit.ly/AD43TW
Don’t use treated lumber to build a birdhouse http://bit.ly/x2pIG0
When do birds begin nesting? http://bit.ly/wbJ3kE
DO NOT Collect Dryer Lint for the birds to use as nesting material! http://bit.ly/wC5HcO

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