Like humans, male birds have different reproductive organs than female birds and are not able to lay eggs. Male birds carry sperm and can fertilize the egg of a female bird, but can not lay eggs themselves.
What You'll Learn
Male birds can not lay eggs but must still pull their own weight when providing for and protecting their partner and offspring.
Male birds are first put to the test by building a nest for their partner. If a female doesn’t approve of the nest, she will not lay with the male bird, so the pressure for him to be creative and architectural is on.
Male birds will perform elaborate songs and dances for the approval of a female. Some birds get very creative, such as the hamerkop, which can build nests up to six feet high and wide. Birds are born with color and patterns to attract a mate.
Each species has a set number of eggs they can lay in one sitting. Keeping that in mind, male birds can be obligated to provide for one to fifteen eggs depending on the type of bird.
Do Male Birds Stay With The Eggs?
Male birds are tasked with protecting and providing for their family once they fertilize the egg of a female bird.
After the male bird has received permission to lie with a female, he will begin gathering food for the three and taking care of his partner during the laying and incubation time. Both parents can be seen trading places between searching for food and incubating the babies.
The male bird is also tasked with finding proper shelter away from predators. Any time one of them does not stay with the eggs, their offspring is more likely to be harmed by predators.
During the incubation time and shortly after the eggs are hatched, the baby birds are weak and unable to fight for themselves. The male is often more likely to search for food than the female so that she can rest and protect the young.
What Role Do Male Birds Play in Mating?
During mating season, the testes of male birds will swell up to 1,000 times, while the ovaries of a female bird will also get bigger to prepare for fertilization. Male birds will fertilize a female bird’s eggs by depositing sperm into the female’s cloaca.
The sperm will then move to the oviduct and fertilize the egg. The male bird will then be tasked with caring for the female bird while she lays her eggs and incubates them. Once the eggs have hatched, the male bird is responsible for finding food for the female bird and its offspring.
Can Male Birds Incubate Eggs?
Yes, one of the male’s prime duties as a protector and provider for his family is to incubate the eggs when the female needs to take a break.
The act of incubating eggs is when a bird will sit on the eggs to keep them warm and safe from predators until they hatch.
Some male birds will spend their time incubating longer than others, but they are also tasked with finding food for their family, so both male and female birds will rotate incubating and finding food.
Male birds are more likely to spend the majority of their time taking on the role of finding food for the family than incubating.
Can a Female Lay Eggs Without a Male?
A female bird can lay eggs without a male, but these eggs will be infertile. Female birds ovulate just like female humans, and when the environmental conditions mask mating season, the female bird can begin egg-laying without a male bird.
This egg will not hatch, and most pet owners can throw this egg out. Female birds have their hormones triggered by environmental changes of warm temperature, the increased amount of light, and the abundance of food.
Laying eggs without a male rarely happens because it is the effect of cross-wiring a female bird’s biological clock.
If a female bird lays more than one infertile egg, she is prone to getting weak and calcium-deficient because of the physical exhaustion she goes through when laying an egg.
Do Male Birds Make Nests For The Eggs?
Yes, this is one way they attract female birds initially. Male birds must gain acceptance from a female through fancy singing, dancing, and nest-making.
Nests are necessary for the safety and stability of the future family. Nests are made from whatever they can get their hands (beaks) on, including grass, leaves, and fur.
While male birds are the ones who build nests most of the time, female birds also assist from time to time.
The wren species can make up to 12 different nests to court one female bird. When a female bird disapproves of the nest the male made, he will keep trying until he receives her approval.
When Do Birds Mate?
The mating season for birds is springtime. In the springtime, food is most abundant for birds. When spring approaches, causing the daylight hours to become longer, birds will physiologically change to get ready for mating season.
Their hormones will force them to look for opportunities to mate. As stated before, female birds may lay an unfertilized egg if their hormones are off.
Although male birds are not tasked with pushing out an egg, their environmentally vested duties are still important to the stability of the family. They will make nests so their family has a safe place to live, forage for food, and ward off predators that endanger the young and female birds. Male birds may also stick around to ensure the young are given their full chance of survival even after the mother has already ventured off to her next family.
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I am Bryan Powell and I own BirdHour.com. I love bird watching; in fact, I have a parakeet of my own. I enjoy spending time outdoors and observing the natural world around me. This website is a means of sharing my passion for birds with others who may be interested in this activity.