Keepers at Bourton-on-the-Water’s Birdland are paying tribute to some of the avian world’s finest feathered females as part of its Mother’s Day weekend (Saturday 21st – Sunday 22nd March).
Celebrate Mother’s Day at Birdland with our plucky hens and learn the lengths different species will go to protect their precious chicks. This is the time of year the hens are starting to lay and sit on eggs and the bird keeping team closely monitor their progress.
Head Keeper, Alistair Keen, said: “We’ve had a few eggs laid already this year and 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.
With its combination of woodland, riverside and gardens, Birdland features more than 500 birds, ranging from birds of prey and parrots to cassowaries and cranes in a mix of free-flying and aviary displays.