YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — It’s that time of year when baby birds are starting to leave the nest-but that doesn’t mean the parents are done caring for them.
Here’s a starling-can’t tell if it’s Mamma or Poppa- trying to keep up with a chick’s voracious appetite. Fortunately, it has a really convenient food source, a pile of mealworms left out on a platform.
The chick is showing fairly typical “feed me!” behavior, which can be seen in a number of bird species. Sometimes in addition to opening wide, birds will flutter their wings. And as you can tell by the video, this “begging behavior”, as it’s called, involves making a lot of noise. In some species, this can go on after leaving the nest for days, weeks, or even months.
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With baby starlings, the process is usually a bit quicker.
Starling nestlings are pretty helpless when they hatch. They are born blind and naked, and won’t really start moving around until they are two days old. The eyes will open somewhere around six to seven days after hatching, about the same time that they grow a layer of down.
It will take a baby starling two to three weeks to grow its first adult feathers. it takes anywhere from 15 and 21 days for starling babies to become fully feathered. At that point, they are ready to leave the nest. As you can see, the feathers of an immature starling can look quite different from the adult. They won’t get their full adult plumage until next year.
After leaving the nest. mom and dad starling will keep feeding them for a week or two. The baby bird in this video is probably close to going off on his own. The average life span of a starling is two to three years, but the record age is 22 years and 11 months.
This is a segment of a longer video. To see it, click here.