Birdland Celebrates Mother’s Day in Bourton On The Water

Keepers at Bourton-on-the-Water’s Birdland are paying tribute to some of the avian world finest feathered females as part of its Mother’s Day weekend. (Saturday, March 10th – Sunday, March 11th).

This is the time of year the hens are starting to lay and sit on eggs and their progress is closely monitored by the bird-keeping team.

Among those already laying are the roul roul partridge, emus and the Humboldt penguins.

Head Keeper, Alistair Keen, said: “We had our first penguin eggs laid at the end of February and we’re now seeing a number of the birds pairing up and preparing their nests.”

Over the weekend, the talks programme will highlight some of Birdland’s hard-working mums, providing a fascinating insight into about how different bird species looks after their young.

In some cases, like the king penguins, the parents share incubation of their single egg – taking it in turns to keep the egg warm on top of their feet – while in others it’s actually the male who ends up doing most of the hard work when it comes to looking after the babies.

Amazing Bird Mum Facts:

– Burrowing owls burrow underground where several eggs will be laid, away from prying eyes.

– The flamingos build a nest cone of mud up to a foot high to protect their single egg from flooding.

-Female pheasants make a scrape on the floor and lay up to eight eggs which they will incubate and hope that their dull coloured plumage will help camouflage them.

-Pigeons build a flimsy nest on a platform of twigs and lay two eggs.

-Parrots will find holes in trees in which to nest.

-Female cassowaries are among the laziest of bird mothers, they lay eggs in the nests of several males then leave them to incubate and rear the young.

-Possibly the most committed mother is the female trumpeter hornbill, she will seal herself into a cavity in a tree (or a nest box at Birdland) using mud, droppings and saliva whilst she lays her eggs. Once the chicks are full size they will then break out.

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