how long is mating season for birds

First, let’s talk about why.

Many people consider spring to be the start of bird nesting season. With this comes a lot of preparation. These birds may be constructing nests, returning from a protracted flight from their wintering grounds, or searching for a partner. Many species invest significant time and energy in ensuring a successful nesting season. To ensure that their preparations don’t go to waste, they must maintain a high state of alert and employ dramatic defense strategies to protect their territory, offspring, or both.

When is the nesting bird season, and why does it affect me?

While there isn’t a set legal period for birds to nest, most of them do so between March and August. However, the timing can change significantly based on the type of bird and the weather. As a result, nesting may take place outside of this window, and it is always forbidden to disturb nesting birds.

The Arb Association advises undertaking all vegetation or tree clearance work outside the ‘Bird Nesting Season’. However, this can be difficult to navigate due to changing factors and the absence of specific months for bird nesting. Here’s what you need to know:

Defense tactics: Dive bombing and broken wing displays

You may be recalling the earlier described mockingbird scenario and are all too familiar with that feeling. It has been observed that backyard birds and predatory birds will dive bomb to ward off potential threats.

It’s not just the backyard birds that use that tactic. Certain birds that nest on beaches, such as least terns and black skimmers, do so in colonies, or big gatherings. There can be hundreds or even thousands of people living in one colony. Even though they may be numerous, they are totally exposed to outside threats because they nest on the beach. If they approach you too closely, their team will attempt to dive bomb you.

Another well-known strategy employed by killdeer and other plovers is the display of broken wings. These species also build their nests on the ground, but they are left to fend for themselves rather than in large colonies. Their defense usually starts with warning calls, directed at you as well as to their chicks, telling them to hide. That’s the cue to turn around and give them some room. In the event that an individual or possible predator approaches the chicks or nest too closely, a display of broken wings will be showcased. This serves as a decoy to draw the danger away from the nest, making the adult seem like a simple mark.


What month is bird mating season?

Though no legally defined bird nesting season exists, most birds generally nest between March and August*. However, the timing can vary greatly depending on weather conditions and bird species. Therefore, nesting may occur outside this period, and it remains illegal to disturb nesting birds year-round.

How many times a year do birds mate?

Most birds mate for only one season – and only one reason. Some species, however, mate for life while others mate multiple times during one season. Geese, swans and eagles are known for having only one mate until one of them dies.

Is breeding season the same for all birds?

While most bird species tend to lay eggs in the spring, some of our larger species (hornbills, vultures, cranes, etc.) are moving into their breeding season in the colder months. I’ll specifically be talking about nest building for our southern ground hornbills and lappet-faced vultures.

How long does it take for baby birds to leave the nest?

Roughly speaking, small songbirds take between 10 days and 2 weeks to hatch and the same amount to fledge. Larger birds such as woodpeckers may take 3 weeks to a month to fledge. Many ducks, shorebirds and gamebirds leave the nest immediately after hatching.