The Life Cycle of a Bird

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11565

Where do birds come from? Have you ever seen an egg, besides the one you had for breakfast? How do eggs keep warm? Watch birds hatching and flying, then put on your own bird life cycle performance!


Life Science

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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What kind of animal do you think will hatch from the eggs pictured above?

  • Did you say birds hatch from eggs?


  • Can you think of some different kinds of birds?

Share your answers with your parent or teacher.

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Birds lay eggs.

  • Have you ever seen eggs in a nest?
  • Where did you see the nest?

Share a story about a time you saw eggs in a nest. If you have never seen a bird's nest, think about what it might look like, and the types of things a bird may use to build a nest.

bird nest

All birds are hatched from eggs. Look at the image below.

  • How many eggs are there?
  • Do you know what kind of bird is shown?

Tell your parent or teacher.


That's right! That big bird with black feathers and a pink neck and head is an ostrich. Ostriches lay large white eggs.

Bird eggs come in different sizes and colors. Click through the images below of birds and their eggs.

  • What colors do you see?
  • Do you recognize any of those birds?

Share your answers with your parent or teacher.

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Bird eggs have hard shells. This keeps the baby inside the egg and helps protect the baby from harm. As you know, eggshells are not very strong! If you drop an egg on the ground it will crack. If you ever find a bird's egg, you should gently return the egg to the bird's nest.

cracked egg shell

While the baby birds are still in the egg the parent(s) incubate the eggs. This means the bird sits on the eggs to keep them warm. If the eggs get too cold, the babies won't be able to grow and hatch. Birds don't weigh much and can sit on their eggs without cracking them. Watch the video below of a pigeon and her egg.

  • Do you see how a bird keeps its eggs warm?

Pigeon Lays on her Egg Nest and Yawns! [High Definition] from Beautiful Nature Amazing Animals:

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Once the baby bird is ready, it will hatch from the egg. The baby bird uses its body to crack the egg. When the bird is finally out of the egg, it will rely on its parent(s) for food. During this time, the baby will be fed from its mother's mouth. Watch the Baby Robin Hatching by jsitube video below to see a baby robin hatching out of its egg.

  • What do you notice about the baby bird?

Share your answer with your parent or teacher.

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Once the babies have feathers and have grown stronger, they will learn how to fly. The mother teaches the babies how to fly. It takes some practice for the little babies to learn to fly like their parents.

  • Have you ever seen a bird flying?

Sometimes birds need a some extra help learning to fly. Watch the GoPro: Pelican Learns To Fly video below to see a pelican learning to fly.

  • Do you think it is easy for a bird to learn to fly? Why or why not?

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Once a bird learns how to fly, it will be ready to live on its own. Adult birds are able to fly to new places, build their nests, and find a mate.

  • Can you think of some different types of adult birds you have seen around your home?
  • How do adult birds fly?
  • Where do they live?

Think about some birds that live in your area. Share your story about birds in your area with your parent or teacher.

Progress of robin eggs and flying in 3 weeks

Image by Volkan Yuksel, via Wikimedia Commons, is licensed under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

Before moving on to the next section, tell your parent or teacher how birds take care of their babies while they are still in the egg.

When you are finished answering the question, move on to the Got It? section to learn more about birds and their babies!

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