Blog Archive: Baby Birds

Birdorable Piping Plover

Baby Birdorable: Piping Plover

October 29th, 2018 in Baby Birds, Plovers No comments

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr Creative Commons) of the Piping Plover.

When it comes to cute baby birds, it's hard to beat precocial shorebird chicks. Precocial chicks are ready and able to leave the nest soon after hatching. So they are covered in downy feathers, their eyes are open, but they are still tiny.

Piping Plovers are threatened, so their nests are monitored in several locations, leading to some spectacular photos of the extremely adorable chicks as they first make their way in the world.

Piping Plovers use a scrape on open beach habitat to nest. The scrape may be lined with small pebbles and shells. Incubation is performed by both the male and female, and takes around 26 to 28 days. They can walk away from the nest within hours of hatching.

Piping Plover chicks by USFWS Mountain-Prairie (CC BY 2.0)
Piping Plover chicks and eggs by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (public domain)
Piping Plover chicks by USDA NRCS Montana (public domain)
Piping Plover chick by Russ (CC BY 2.0)
Piping Plover chick by Russ (CC BY 2.0)
Piping Plover chick by Russ (CC BY 2.0)
Piping Plover chick by Seney National Wildlife Refuge (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Piping Plover chick by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (public domain)
Piping Plover chick by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (public domain)
Piping Plover chicks by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (public domain)
Young Piping Plover by Isaac Sanchez (CC BY 2.0)
Birdorable Canada Goose

Baby Birdorable: Canada Goose

October 15th, 2018 in Baby Birds, Geese No comments

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr Creative Commons) of the Canada Goose.

Canada Geese sometimes get a bad rap as nuisance birds and they have a reputation for being aggressive. But these North American native birds have their place in our environment. And it's hard to deny that they are handsome birds as adults, and pretty darn cute as babies.

Canada Geese start their nest with a scrape, and then build a nest out of local plant material. The inside is usually lined with soft downy feathers. The female goose will incubate the eggs herself; the process usually takes 25 to 28 days. At hatching, the chicks are fully covered with down. They are able to leave the nest within about 24 hours of hatching. They can swim upon leaving the nest; flight occurs 6 to 7 weeks later.

Canada Goose Eggs
Cananda Goose Eggs by NottsExMiner (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Goose Babies
Canada Goose Babies by Duck Lover (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Adult Goose with Baby
Adult Goose with Baby by Don DeBold (CC BY 2.0)
Two Goslings
Two Goslings by Suchitra Photography (CC BY 2.0)
Baby Canada Goose
Baby Canada Goose by Duck Lover (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Gosling with Parent
Gosling with Parent by Duck Lover (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Family Feeding Time
Family Feeding Time by Jocelyn Piirainen (CC BY 2.0)
Birdorable European Starling

Baby Birdorable: European Starling

October 7th, 2018 in Baby Birds, Starlings No comments

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr Creative Commons) of the European Starling.

Across North America, the European Starling is a huge "success" story. Today's population of over 200 million birds can all be traced back to the release of about 100 individuals in New York in the early 1890s. Unfortunately, they compete with native birds, especially those that use cavities for nesting.

In Europe, where they are native, the starling population has suffered declines since the 1980s due to loss of available food sources.

Whether you see these birds as pests or beloved natives, it's hard to deny that they have pretty adult plumage and that they are even cuter when they are chicks.

Baby Starling
Baby Starling by Audrey (CC BY 2.0)
Baby Starlings in Nest
Baby Starlings in Nest by hedera.baltica (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Baby Starling
Baby Starling by Airwolfhound (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Baby European Starling
Baby European Starling by Keith Laverack (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Adult and Baby Starlings
Adult and Baby European Starling by Chris Isherwood (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Mother and Baby Starlings
Mother and Baby Starlings by Airwolfhound (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Adult with Baby Starling
Adult with Baby Starling by marneejill (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Young Starling
Young Starling by Jo Garbutt (CC BY 2.0)
Birdorable American Flamingo

Baby Birdorable: Flamingo Week Edition

September 20th, 2018 in Baby Birds, Flamingos 3 comments

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr Creative Commons) of the American Flamingo and Greater Flamingo.

The six species of flamingo have similar nesting habits. They all breed in colonies. Mating rituals involve synchronized dancing. The nest is a pillar or mound of mud. A single chalky-white egg is laid per nesting attempt. Chicks, grey when first hatched, are fed a protein- and fat-rich diet of crop milk by both parents. Baby flamingos leave the nest around 7-12 days after hatching. Young birds gather in a group, called a creche, to evade predation as they grow.

Flamingos do well in captivity and breed if colony conditions are favorable, which include number of birds of breeding age and ratio of males to females. All of the example baby flamingo photos shared below were taken in zoological parks.

American Flamingo Eric Kilby (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Greater Flamingo by Charles Barilleaux (CC BY 2.0)
American Flamingo by Eric Kilby (CC BY-SA 2.0)
American Flamingo by Eric Kilby (CC BY-SA 2.0)
American Flamingo by Heather Paul (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Greater Flamingo by Tambako The Jaguar (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Greater Flamingo by Tambako The Jaguar (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Greater Flamingo by Tambako The Jaguar (CC BY-ND 2.0)
American Flamingo by frank wouters (CC BY 2.0)
American Flamingo by frank wouters (CC BY 2.0)
American Flamingo by Alonso Inostrosa Psijas (CC BY-SA 2.0)
American Flamingo by Eric Kilby (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Birdorable Wattled Crane

Baby Birdorable: Wattled Crane for Crane Week

March 29th, 2018 in Baby Birds 1 comment

It's Crane Week, so how about a crane edition of our Baby Birdorable series to celebrate?

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Wattled Cranes are found in Africa, south of the Sahara. They raise their chicks near wetlands or marsh habitat, where they may reuse a goose nest or make their own sloppy grass nest. The average clutch size for Wattled Cranes is 1.6 eggs, the smallest of all the crane species. The incubation period of 33-36 days is the longest of all the cranes. Fledging takes another 100 to 150 days, another crane extreme.

Here are some adorable baby Wattled Crane photos taken at the Jacksonville Zoo by photographer Rob Bixby, shared here via Creative Commons (CC by 2.0). Can you spot the cute little baby wattle visible in some of the photos?

Photo of baby Wattled Crane
Photo of baby Wattled Crane
Photo of baby Wattled Crane
Photo of baby Wattled Crane
Photo of baby Wattled Crane
Photo of baby Wattled Crane
Photo of baby Wattled Crane
Photo of baby Wattled Crane
Birdorable Horned Lark

Baby Birdorable: Horned Lark

February 2nd, 2018 in Baby Birds No comments

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr Creative Commons) of the Horned Lark.

Female Horned Larks build the nest alone. A natural depression is found, or a cavity is dug by loosening soil and flipping it away with beak and feet. Woven plant material is formed into a nest inside the cavity, which is then lined with soft material like fur and feathers. Once the eggs are laid, incubation, performed only by the female Horned Lark, takes around 11 days. Chicks are fed a diet of mostly insects while growing in the nest.

Baby Horned Larks typically leave the nest 8-10 days after hatching. It takes another two weeks before they are able to walk and fly as well as adults.

Horned Lark Nestlings
Horned Lark Nestlings by Bureau of Land Management (CC BY 2.0)
Tundra Camouflage, Hidden Horned Lark Nest
Tundra Camouflage, Hidden Horned Lark Nest by Mike Beauregard
Horned Lark Chick
Horned Lark Chick by BLM Wyoming
Horned Lark Baby begging for food
Horned Lark Baby begging for food by Always a birder!