Surrey, British Columbia

 

Male Downy Woodpecker with JuvenileFathers Find Their Role
for Raising Young Birds

This month, your yard will become home to a new generation of birds.

But as you're watching fledglings chase their parents, beg for food and learn the necessary skills to survive their new world, look for the presence, or absence, of father birds.

Adult male birds' roles in raising their young differ greatly from one species to another.

For example, male hummingbirds do nothing to help raise the young, their only contribution is to mate with the female.

Chickadee and nuthatch males feed their mates while they are incubating and brooding, but both adults feed the young.

The Bird Father of the Year Award goes to the Downy Woodpecker. Though they share daytime nest duties with their female counterparts, only males incubate and brood at night and roost in the nest until their offspring fledge.

Downy males will also help feed the young after they leave the nest and assist in leading them to food sources such as backyard bird feeders.

Help your birds with high-protein foods like mealworms, peanuts, Jim's Birdacious® Bark Butter® and suet.

These energy-packed foods will entice your birds and their young back to your yard. The young birds will learn the location of your bird food and begin to make return trips on their own.