Offer High-Quality Suet to Give Birds a Strong Start
Summer is an amazing time to feed and watch birds in your yard. It can provide unique entertainment that you can’t experience any other time of year. Plus, you will be helping this year’s broods of babies grow big and strong for all the natural challenges they will face.
Help young birds find the right building blocks for growing strong feathers by offering quality suet packed with high-protein options. Feathers are over 90% protein and it takes lots of energy from foods to grow them well.
Young ones that have recently hatched are hungry and are learning how to find food. Watch as bird parents, and in some cases older siblings, show them where and how to find food. Your suet feeders are a prime location for these hungry and awkward youngsters.
Keep an eye out for ragged-looking fledglings chasing their parents while begging for food. Their feathers grow in tracts or patches at various rates. Their head may look a different color pattern or their body feathers may be mottled. The tail feathers are usually the last of the feathers to grow. So, sometimes these young are bouncing around trying to navigate flying and perching without the help of full-grown feathers.
Downy Woodpecker dads like to take the family out to eat. When the young brood fledges from the nest, dad leads them to great food sources as well as teaches them how to use his favorite backyard bird feeders.
Chickadee and nuthatch dads feed mom while she incubates and broods the eggs. Dad also helps feed the young once they have hatched.
Pygmy and Brown-headed Nuthatches provide future dads with on-the-job training. A third of all breeding pairs of Pygmy Nuthatches have one to three male helpers, usually their own offspring or other relatives. Between 20-60% of breeding Brown-headed Nuthatch pairs have at least one helper. These helpers, which could be future moms too, assist in feeding the incubating female, the nestlings and the young fledglings.