How to Build a Nest With Love

Last week I started to offer nesting material to the birds near the feeders. Many birds build many different types of nests. The female house finch builds the nest with Mr. looking over her. The male sparrow builds his nest, hoping to attract a sexy female.

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Species Average Clutch Size Average Incubation Period (in days) Average Nestling Period (in days)
Acadian Flycatcher 3 14 12
American Crow 4-5 18 35
American Goldfinch 5 13 14
American Kestrel 4-5 30 30
American Robin 4 13 15
American Tree Sparrow 3-5 13 10
Ash-throated Flycatcher 4-5 15 17
Bald Eagle 2 41 75
Baltimore Oriole 4 13 13
Barn Owl 4-6 31 32
Barn Swallow 4-5 13 21
Barred Owl 2-3 31 32
Bewick’s Wren 5-7 14 14
Black Vulture 2 36 62
Black-capped Chickadee 6-8 13 25
Blue Grosbeak 4 12 11
Blue Jay 4-5 17 19
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 4-5 15 13
Bobolink 5-6 12 12
Boreal Chickadee 4-9 14 18
Brown Thrasher 4-5 13 11
Canada Goose 5-6 28 5
Carolina Chickadee 6 13 17
Carolina Wren 4-6 13 13
Cedar Waxwing 3-5 13 17
Chimney Swift 4-5 19 19
Chipping Sparrow 4 13 11
Dark-eyed Junco 3-5 13 12
Downy Woodpecker 4-5 12 21
Eastern Bluebird 4-5 14 17
Eastern Phoebe 5 15 16
Eastern Screech-owl 4-5 26 31
Eastern Towhee 3-4 13 9
European Starling 5-7 14 21
Field Sparrow 3-5 11 8
Gray Catbird 4 13 11
Great Blue Heron 4 27 77
Great Crested Flycatcher 4-5 14 15
Great-horned Owl 2-3 31 34
Hairy Woodpecker 4 13 29
House Finch 4-5 13 15
House Sparrow 3-5 13 15
House Wren 6-8 14 15
Indigo Bunting 3-4 13 11
Killdeer 4 25 precocial
Lesser Goldfinch 4-5 12 11
Mallard 10-12 28 precocial
Mountain Bluebird 5-6 14 20
Mountain Chickadee 6-12 14 21
Mourning Dove 2 15 14
Northern Cardinal 4 12 10
Northern Mockingbird 3-5 13 13
Osprey 3 33 55
Pileated Woodpecker 3-5 18 27
Prothonotary Warbler 4-6 13 11
Purple Martin 4-5 16 28
Red-eyed Vireo 4 13 12
Red-tailed Hawk 2-3 30 30
Red-winged Blackbird 4 11 11
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 4 13 11
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 2 16 19
Say’s Phoebe 4-5 13 15
Song Sparrow 3-5 13 10
Spotted Towhee 3-4 13 9
Tree Swallow 4-6 15 20
Tufted Titmouse 5-6 13 17
Turkey Vulture 2 39 77
Violet-green Swallow 4-5 14 24
Western Bluebird 4-6 14 20
Western Screeh-owl 2-4 26 28
Western Scrub Jay 2-3 16 18
Wild Turkey 8-12 28 precocial
Wood Duck 8-10 30 precocial
Wood Thrush 3-4 13 13

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

20 thoughts on “How to Build a Nest With Love

  1. What is interesting about these figures, is that the eagle and vultures have the longest nesting and incubation periods, for only 2 eggs. No wonder some of these are declining in numbers.
    Lovely photos of your birds taking nesting material. 🙂 After grooming my dogs, I used to put a ball of dog hair in one of my hanging baskets for nesting for the birds – till I saw the birds preferred to take the actual basket!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How to build a nest. First find a chick that has nice proportions. Buy a block of land in the country.
    Put up a shed and start to make mud bricks. If the chick doesn’t like this go back to start and try again. If after a number of attempts you find that many chicks prefer laminex and ducted heating, give up and try again. But in the end resign yourself to a life of misery and hopelessness.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You made coffee come out my nose! 😂
      Yup. I wish I had spent more time educating myself rather than chasing the opposite sex in my day!
      My husband is still trying to make the perfect mud brick. More likely for my funeral pyre than a home! 😨

      Like

  3. An interesting post 🙂 The pics are amazing, the finch carries quite a big bundle in his beak ! The bigger birds take longer time in their reproduction processes, I had no idea that they lay at max 2 eggs, no doubt they are more vulnerable ! Are the bald eagles being shot ?

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    • No, thank goodness our National Symbol, the Bald Eagle, is not being shot here, well at least not on purpose. They were just taken off the protected species list though, as they were close to extinction before laws stopped them from being shot. Whew!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Here too every thing that has a National tag attached to it somehow fades in popularity and significance 😦 Nice to know government is finally preserving things in your side 🙂

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    • It was my first year to put out the material. I really enjoyed watching them take it and wonder if there were going to be any loss in flight navigation with such a big wad of stuffing in their bills!! HaHa!!

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  4. Lady you did lots of work to put this post together. I’ve never supplied nesting material. My yard is large and has lots sticks of various sizes plus there’s goat hair that my goat rubs off on the trees in his pen.

    It’s great info for those folks new to the habits of our native birds.

    Like

  5. I almost got some nesting material though I’ve left some scrap dog bedding out for a bit in hopes they may be interested. 😉 Good job getting those action shots & great chart. I forget how quickly most songbirds fledge.

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    • Admittedly, the action shots are me trying to capture the bird while sitting and the bird having no sense to stay sitting! 😉 Sometimes I luck out and an action shot is in focus.
      I think I’ll start seeing house finch babies soon. They are a hoot. Dad gets them when they can fly. They come to the window ledge with 2-3 babies in tow. Peep peep peep FEED US! Cracks me up! 🐣

      Like

Time to fire-up the chair-to-keyboard interface!!!

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