How long do birds incubate their eggs and how long do chicks stay in the nest?

April 20, 2009
A Mourning Dove incubates her eggs. Photo by Steven Bach via Birdshare. A Mourning Dove incubates her eggs. Photo by Steven Bach via Birdshare.
New self-paced course: Learn How to Identify Bird Songs, Click to Learn More

The time for incubation varies widely from species to species. 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. You can get detailedĀ information for any species you’re interested in by going to its page in our All About Birds species guide. Once you’ve found the species you’re interested in, click on “Life History” and then scroll down to “Nesting.”

Comments