why do birds build nests in spring

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.

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.

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.

If you discover a baby bird on the ground, you must first determine if it is a fledgling—a newly hatched bird with short wings and a tail—or a hatchling—a newly hatched bird with few or no feathers and closed eyes. Learning to fly, a fledgling can find its way back to the nest on its own If it’s a hatchling, don’t hesitate to return it to its nest if you can find it. Birds don’t have good senses of smell, and if you touch their young, they won’t flee.

The period of time from the hatchling’s birth—a newly hatched bird with few or no feathers and closed eyes—until the fledgling learns to fly varies depending on the species of bird, but it usually lasts between 10 and 3 weeks. Learning to fly requires a combination of instinct and practice for fledglings. After a period of tripping and falling around the nest, fledglings typically start trying to fly at the age of two weeks. Typically, practicing flying entails taking off and landing from the nest and returning to it. They’ll eventually figure out how to spread their wings and start flapping to keep from hitting the ground.

When migratory birds return from their winter hibernation and the nesting season commences in early spring, it’s arguably the most exciting time of year to go birdwatching in your backyard. Nesting season is the period of the year when birds locate a mate, construct a nest, lay eggs, and tend to their young. By becoming well-versed in the spring nesting cycle, you too can enjoy the delights of nesting season in your own backyard!

A clutch of five Tree Swallow eggs inside the Bluebird Box House w/Viewing Window (Model# CWH4).

If the bird is injured, do not touch it. To get in touch with your local wildlife management department, call the extension office in your city or county. Alternatively, if your community has a park district, there might be a rehabilitation facility that takes in injured wildlife or birds.


In what season do most birds build nests?

Spring is often known as the beginning of bird nesting season. With this comes a lot of preparation. These birds could be building nests, arriving from a long journey back from wintering grounds, or finding a mate. There are numerous species that put a lot of time and energy into having a successful nesting season.

Why are birds nesting around my house?

Birds prefer to build their nests in higher places as this helps them survey the area around them. A house gives them a perfect vantage point with spots that are high enough for them to feel safe from predators, look for food, hatch their eggs, and even protect them from extreme temperatures.

Do birds build nests in the same place every year?

Most birds don’t reuse their old nests, no matter how clean they are. They typically build a new nest in a new location for each clutch. This reduces the prevalence of nest parasites such as mites and lice, too.

How do birds decide where to build a nest?

To deal with flying predators, birds look for places where they can hide or at least partially cover their nests. There’s a reason the cliche of the nest in the nook is ubiquitous; a nook provides great cover in every direction but one. Birds look for high places in homes where they can nest.