HOW LONG ARE FLEDGLINGS DEPENDENT ON PARENTS

We will soon see baby birds (also called fledglings) appear with their parents at our bird feeders. Have you ever wondered how long the young are dependent on their parents after leaving the nest? After doing a little research, I’ve put together a list of common birds we see in our yards and gardens, and how long we will be able to observe them as family units.

Downy woodpecker feeding its young

American Goldfinches – 3 weeks
American Robins – 2-3 weeks. Did you know that Robin dads and fledglings roost together at night with other Robin dads and their young? This is how they teach them how to flock.
Baltimore Orioles – 2 weeks
Black-capped Chickadees – 2-3 weeks
Blue Jays – 3 weeks, but have been known to follow their parents for 1-2 months… and sometimes up to 4 months.
Cardinals – up to 40 days
Common Grackles – 3-4 weeks
Downy Woodpeckers – 3 weeks
European Starlings – 1-2 weeks
Hairy Woodpeckers – 3-5 weeks
House Finch – 2 weeks
Hummingbirds – 1 week. This is because they stay in the nest for approximately 21 days which is longer than most birds.
Red-bellied Woodpeckers – 6 weeks or more
Red Breasted Nuthatch – 2 weeks, but sometimes up to 5 weeks.
White-breasted Nuthatch – 3-5 weeks
Rose-breasted Grosbeaks – 3 weeks

Cowbirds lay their eggs in other birds’ nests, so if you see a fledgling that doesn’t quite look like the others, you’ll know which adopted parent got the egg.  I hope you enjoy watching these family groups over the coming weeks.

Happy Birding!

Jane Paradis

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