when are birds done nesting

There is nothing quite like the feeling of spring. The weather has started to warm. Days are filled with going on walks, sitting in the backyard or having picnics. Birds have made their return to their breeding grounds and the familiar calls are heard again. Suddenly, your perfect spring day is interrupted by a loud, angry mockingbird dive bombing you. Instead of getting mad at the bird, understand their behaviors and learn what you can do to continue having those magical spring days.

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.

Finding a place to breed

Most birds use the duration of the day to determine the season throughout the year. When the number of daylight hours surpasses a particular threshold, birds undergo physiological adjustments that prime them for procreation. The majority of birds, particularly those found in temperate climates, also schedule their mating seasons to feed their young during the times when food is most plentiful. However, birds must choose a breeding area well in advance of the arrival of nestlings. Non-migratory species have two options: they can either create a new territory in the spring or keep their current one through the winter. As soon as migratory birds arrive in the spring, they start searching for and defending a territory. Good territories offer safe havens from predators, dependable food sources, and possible nest sites.

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.


How long is nesting season for birds?

Many species nest between March 1 and August 31. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife often requires surveys for raptor (bird of prey) nests from January 15 to September 15. Several species court and nest outside this time frame, such as some herons and egrets, many raptors, and most hummingbirds.

What month do most birds lay eggs?

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.

When should I get rid of birds nest?

If you discover a birds nest: You can still remove it yourself if the nest is empty and contains no eggs. Nesting season typically runs from March 20 until June 20. Do not procrastinate the bird nest removal because it is essential you remove the nest before the birds lay eggs.

Do birds build nests in the fall?

Even though we associate nesting birds with springtime, some birds do nest and lay eggs in other seasons. Even as fall approaches and the days start growing shorter, you may still spot baby birds hopping around in your yard.