If you had the schedule birds do – up at the crack of dawn, spend the entire day searching for insects for your growing family with scarcely a pause and continue until the day ends – you’d be ready for vacation after just a few days. With chicks there is no such thing as feeding every few hours or an afternoon nap.
There is no question that the nesting season is hard on the parents, especially small birds which feed mainly on insects. Their offspring go from egg to leaving the nest in as little as two to three weeks, a remarkable achievement. Of course, most chicks still need help on the dinner end but that will wane after another few weeks enabling the parents to have a well-deserved rest.
Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers bring a variety of insects with both parents feeding young, returning as often as every few minutes. Undigestible parts of insects are coughed up and removed on subsequent trips. Eastern Bluebirds may have a second brood, much like their cousin the Robin.
By Brian Morin
Publisher of Ontario Birding News