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Tips on attracting and feeding backyard birds.

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Do both male and female birds incubate their eggs?

Posted by on in Attracting and feeding wild birds
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Only in some species.  Incubating the eggs requires a “brood patch”, an area of skin on the belly that loses its feathers toward the end of the egg-laying period. The patch also develops a supplemental set of blood vessels that bring hot blood close to the surface of the skin. The brood patch is brought into contact with the eggs to provide the necessary warmth for incubation to occur. The feathers will be re-grown once the eggs have hatched and/or the nestlings have grown insulating feathers of their own.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Bluebird-nest-Janet-Furlong-Culpeper.jpgBluebird nest. Photo by Janet Furlong.

In some species, such as the Mourning Dove, both sexes develop brood patches and incubate the eggs; in others, such as the bluebird, only the female has a brood patch and incubates the eggs. Amazing!

b2ap3_thumbnail_Mourning-Dove-pair-Wendy-Rae.jpg

Mourning Doves

I am delighted to join the Birdzilla team through this blog, sharing ideas and topics related to feeding and attracting wild birds in your backyard. Bird feeding is my life-long passion,  instilled by bird-feeding parents who raised me on an 80-acre farm in central Michigan.  After college, my wife and I served as U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer high-school teachers in Africa and then as staff members over an eight-year period.
 
Those wonderful times led to 30-years of bird-feeding leadership as founder of the Wild Bird Centers, franchising and supporting wild bird specialty stores across the country. I helped found the Bird Education Network and was a key financial supporter of PROJECT WILDBIRD, I currently serve as Executive Director of the National Bird-Feeding Society. Several years ago, I was asked to join “The Birder’s Team”, a working group of birding leaders selected by the National Wildlife Refuge System to recommend ways to better serve birders. millions of whom visit our extraordinary network of more than 500 Refuges. These “conservation jewels” actively protect critical habitat and conserve bird populations of all kinds. Most recently, I served as a judge to select the winning artist for the NWRS’ 2015 Duck Stamp Contest.

I now look forward to helping our readers experience the best our wonderful hobby offers. As I often say “The closer we live to each other, the closer we want to be to Nature.”

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