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Lyric Wild Bird Food // Lyric Learning Center // Bird Habitat // The Truth Behind Springtime Nesting Myths

The Truth Behind Springtime Nesting Myths

Baby birds in nest
Many people know that you shouldn’t pick up a baby bird to return it to its nest, but the reason may surprise you. iStock / Getty Images Plus

Myth No. 1: If you place a baby bird back in its nest, the parents will reject it because of your smell.

Birds have a poor sense of smell and don’t rely on it like other animals do to identify their offspring. However, you still shouldn’t move a chick, even if it seems abandoned. Just because you don’t see mom or dad around, doesn’t mean they aren’t watching. Many fledglings leave the nest before they are able to fly and are still cared for by their parents.

Myth No. 2: Birds use nests year-round.

Nests are only used for laying eggs and raising young during the breeding season, though many species return to the same area to build another nest the following year.

Myth No. 3: Any bird will be attracted to any birdhouse

Not all birds are cavity nesters, and those that are like their nest boxes to certain specifications. Oftentimes that cute little birdhouse you picked up at the store is more decorative than functional. When it comes to birdhouses, it’s best to buy or build with a certain species in mind that way you can be sure it’s the correct size.

Myth No. 4: Songbirds sleep in their nests.

Actually, songbirds sleep, or “roost”, perched in dense vegetation to evade predators. Many sleep with one eye open to stay alert.

Myth No. 5: It’s OK to keep a bird, nest, or feather you find in the wild.

All birds native to or migrating within North America are protected by federal law. Humans can neither destroy, possess nor sell our feathered friends nor their eggs, nests or feathers.

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