How birds take care of their young

How birds take care of their young

Manifestations of bird care for their young :

One of the most important tasks of mother birds after the birth of their young is to spend most of the time caring for them, caring for them and maintaining their safety, so that they arise in a peaceful way and their habit intensifies, and the mother does not discriminate in treatment or feeding between the young; all of them are treated in the same way.

Perhaps one of the most important manifestations of a mother bird’s care for her young is the following:

Take care of the eggs before they hatch :

One of the most important aspects of the mother’s care for her young is to take care of her before the egg hatches, by keeping the eggs at the required temperature, to ensure the normal development of the fetus inside, in what is known as the incubation process.

This incubation begins immediately after the completion of the entire egg-laying process; therefore, they all hatch at the same time, but in some species of birds, the mother begins the incubation process as soon as the first egg is laid, which leads to the hatching of eggs at different times.

Provision of housing :

Birds seek to prepare a safe place for their young by building a nest, and the nests of birds are many and varied, as each type of bird has a special way and pattern of building them, and some birds do not build nests, instead, they lay their eggs in simple cracks in the ground.

Birds build their nests from natural materials, such as grass, leaves, and clay, or from non-natural materials, such as pieces of leaves, pieces of plastic, or even wool, and often these nests are on trees, in burrows, or on the sides of cliffs, and the construction of the nest is mostly carried out by the mother and sometimes helped by the father.

Provide food :

Both parents are looking for different types of food to feed their young, and the time of searching for and securing food is one of the most difficult times that pass for them, as young birds often make loud sounds like screaming, which may indicate to predators where they are.

Thus, the father and mother will make a double effort to secure food and protect the young at the same time, and after two or three weeks, most of the Young will be ready to leave the nest, but the young birds of Prey can stay longer, lasting 8-10 weeks.

Protection from predators :

Both parents often race to keep their young from predators, as they are highly and constantly vulnerable to predation for their weakness and smallness, and in this case, the mother deliberately alerts and warns the young about the presence of danger.

The mother or any adult bird can also stand near the young while she is eating, and the mother may take her away from the place so that she secures her from danger, or defend her by distracting the predator’s attention to get her to move away from her young

Protection from natural conditions :

The mother must provide all the requirements to protect the young from natural conditions, especially since the young after the hatching process are blind and do not have feathers to protect them from the cold; so they are not naturally prepared to face natural conditions.

Therefore, the mother must incubate her young after hatching for periods of time that are not short; in order to maintain the heat of her body, and by the end of the first week, the eyes of the young begin to see and their feathers grow, and their weight begins to increase significantly; they become more strong and able to withstand various natural conditions.

Teaching young people the necessary life skills :

One of the tasks that fall on the parents of birds is to teach their young a set of basic skills and behaviors that help them cope with life, especially after leaving the nest, as the mother realizes that her young must learn a lot of skills quickly if they want to survive.

Therefore, parents play an important role in the child’s enjoyment of basic life skills, such as: how to get food and defend themselves against predators, and the Education stage continues beyond adulthood.

Getting rid of baby waste :

One of the tasks performed by the parents is cleaning the nest from the litter of the young, which is a task that the father often does; he removes eggshells and feces from the nest for himself and his children, and carries them away from them, and removing feces from the nest reduces the risk of infection of the young with diseases or parasites.

This process will also keep predators away from the nest, as the remains of eggs and shells have a strong and distinctive smell that animals can identify, which may put birds at great risk.

Examples of manifestations of the care of birds for their young :

The methods of caring for and caring for the young differ depending on the species of birds, and they are as follows:

Chickens take care of their young :

The Hen takes care of her young starting from incubating the eggs until they hatch and then through the feeding process; she carries food to her with her beak to take the young in turn with her small beaks, and the mother can also drop food directly into the mouths of her young.

Then later, the mother hen begins to teach her young some basic feeding skills; such as the way she eats food herself by picking it up from the ground directly, especially after she is able to walk well, and the mother also has a voice called gurgling, a voice she uses to attract the young to her in order to move forward.

The hen usually stays with her newly born chicks for a day or two in the nest after the hatching process is over, then she and her chicks leave the nest in order to do some close rounds, during which the chicks spend most of the time under the wings of her mother.

Cuckoos take care of their young :

A female cuckoo bird follows a strange strategy in caring for her young; she often sneaks into the nest of another bird of a different species, lays her egg, flies high, and disappears; the surrogate father and mother of other birds take care of and take care of this egg along with the rest of her eggs.

After the egg hatches, the parents feed the little one until it grows and gets back, even though it looks completely different from them, and the little cuckoo starts trying to get more food and at the same time pushes the eggs inside the nest and drops them one by one.

The adoptive parents continue to feed the little cuckoo bird even though they have lost all their eggs, and they also protect it from the risk of being preyed on by other animals as if it were their own little one, and this may endanger their lives while defending it.

Penguin takes care of his young :

The Penguin takes care of its young in a way that alternates between the father and mother, starting from the stage of having the young inside her eggs; the female penguin often lays two eggs at the same time, and in case she has to go out to look for food, the father takes care of the eggs by incubating them in a good way to keep them at a moderate temperature, and when the mother returns, they switch roles.

The Penguin’s father and mother continue like this until the eggs hatch and the chick comes out of it, which is the name of the Little Penguin, and although the latter has a layer of light feathers, he still depends on his parents for the necessary warmth until he completes the construction of his own feathers.

At this stage, the father and mother take turns providing food to him through what is known as vomited food, which is( food that has been chewed beforehand), and the baby penguin depends entirely on his parents for a period lasting from 7 weeks to 13 months, and after he grows up, he and his parents begin to learn to get food by accompanying them on a hunting trip and searching for food