A bird grows in the egg while the parents incubate it (sit on it). It then continues to grow after hatching until it is ready to fly. Some birds can leave the nest almost instantly (as soon as they are dry after hatching), but still cannot fly until they are ready (approximately one month later). Other birds don’t leave the nest until they are ready to fly.
- Pigeons incubate their eggs for about 18 days. Once they hatch they fly from the nest for the first time after approximately 30 days.
- Peregrine Falcons fly about 40 days after hatching.
- House Sparrows fly approximately 12 days after hatching.
- Brown-headed Cowbirds fledge about 10 days after hatching.
Young birds don’t just have to ‘grow’ their wings, but they have to exercise them and prepare themselves to fly for the first time too. It’s not always easy!