Can Birds Pick Up Their Babies? (Answered!)

Most people are aware of cats being picked up by the back of their necks.

This is common in all types of cats, but what about birds? Can birds pick up their babies?

Birds cannot pick up their babies for long distances. It’s common for mother birds to push babies out of the nest if they deem them to be weak. Otherwise, mother birds will prefer to keep the baby birds in the same nest until they are strong enough to fly away.

In some cases, it is possible for mother birds to lift the baby by its head.

This is not done out of care and is usually about tossing the baby bird out of the nest. It is seen as a last resort to save the other babies because this one is too weak for the mother bird to take care of.

It sounds harsh but this is the way nature is for birds.

They do not want to compromise all of their younglings for one. This is why they end up sacrificing the bird and look to care for the rest.

Here is more on why birds cannot pick up their babies and why they refuse to try for the most part.

Best Berries for Birds (EDITOR’S CHOICE)

LAFEBER'S Classic Nutri-Berries Pet Bird Food, Made with...
  • NUTRITIONALLY COMPLETE FORAGING PARROT FOOD: formulated by top avian veterinarians and avian nutritionists; offers twice the...
  • SUPERIOR SHAPE FOR FORAGING: the round Nutri-Berries shape offers important beak play and exercise, which helps prevent bird...
  • NON-GMO AND HUMAN-GRADE INGREDIENTS: no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

Last update on 2021-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Reasons Birds Don’t Pick Up Their Babies

1. Weak Beaks

Most birds will have weak beaks.

You require a strong beak to lift a baby bird as they are still going to have a bit of weight to them. Unfortunately, mother birds don’t have the strength to lift their young and then fly long distances.

It’s rare and is only seen with hunting birds that are known for going after small mammals. Otherwise, the rest are not going to have the ability to do this.

Experts Say...
Birds don’t have a lot of beak strength and it’s only a few bird species that can lift heavy animals. The rest don’t have the ability to do so.

Since this is the case, birds don’t pick up their babies.

They prefer to leave them in the nest and provide for the babies there. Birds can’t pick up birds because the baby would slip out if they tried to do so.

It is not seen as an option and it is something they have not evolved to do.

This is why most mother birds will protect the nest at all costs. They want to make sure all of the babies have to be moved as it is a difficult task for most species.

Can birds pick up their babies

2. Safety Risk

There is an inherent safety risk of moving baby birds from one place to another.

They need to grow in the same nest as it will allow them to stay safe and get used to the environment. It is also good for the mother bird as she can come back to the same spot to feed them.

Mother birds don’t carry their babies because it is dangerous.

They will become exposed to predators and then die as well. This is why mother birds look at other options instead of having to deal with the dangers of getting hunted in the wild.

Mother birds will often look at weaker birds and just let them be. They don’t want to expose the others to predators when moving baby birds around.

This safety risk is hard to ignore.

Birds want to protect their young and will also want to stay safe themselves. This is why keeping the babies in the nest is their first option.

Can birds pick up their babies

3. Natural Instinct

There is a natural instinct that has developed over the years in birds.

They prefer to keep the birds in the nest and test if they are strong enough to survive. This is why it is common for babies to hurt each other in the nest as well when they are growing.

This is the way nature is.

Birds want to test their babies and also make sure they have the ability to survive in different conditions. As a result, they don’t carry the birds from one place to another.

Related Questions

1. Can Parent Birds Move Their Babies?

Parent birds cannot move their babies with their beaks. They do not have the strength to do so and will not expose themselves to predators by doing this. This is seen as a last resort if a predator is lurking nearby otherwise mother birds will leave their young.

2. Do Birds Really Push Babies Out Of The Nest?

Yes, birds do push babies out of the nest if necessary. This is done when a specific baby bird is deemed to be weak. The mother bird will remove them from the nest to protect the others.

Final Thoughts

Can birds pick up their babies?

Birds cannot pick up their babies due to having weak beaks. If they do try to carry the bird, it is done for a few seconds to push them out of the nest. Otherwise, mother birds do not attempt to pick up their babies.

Read more on birds:

  1. Giving Yew Berries To Birds
  2. Assisting Birds With Noise At Night
  3. List Of Birds That Hover
  4. Reasons Birds Stay Away From Bees
  5. Birds With Down Syndrome