The Open Door Web Site
Part VI : Animal Reproduction
Reproduction in Birds Homepage
Goslings, Normandy, France
A flamingo, Slimbridge, UK
REPRODUCTION IN BIRDS
Chicks in the Nest
Some chicks are quickly on their feet and leave the nest within a few hours of hatching. This is true for most ground nesting birds such as chickens, pheasants, geese and seagulls. The hen bird still looks after the chicks. She will call to them if there is a dangerous predator nearby. These chicks will start to feed for themselves very soon but because they run around so much they do not grow very quickly.
Stork feeding its young, Normandy, France
The chicks of birds which nest in trees have to learn how to fly before they can leave the nest. They are naked when they hatch from their eggs. These chicks stay in the nest and are fed by the parents sometimes for many weeks. Chicks which stay in the nest are called nestlings. When they are learning to fly they are called fledglings. This is the most difficult and dangerous part of their lives as they are easy prey for predators and they can injure themselves whilst learning to fly.
Two groups of birds give "milk" to their nestlings : flamingoes and pigeons. The "milk" is produced by the crop which is at the beginning of the bird's digestive system. Therefore, the "milk" is given to the nestlings through the parent's mouth.
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