The Life Cycle of a Bird: Part 1

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 12104

We're sure you've seen eggs, perhaps in nests, perhaps on your table! You've also seen birds. How does a bird go from an egg to a . . . well . . . bird? Come and visit a nest of robins and find out!


Life Science

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

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio: Image - Button Play
Image - Lession Started Image - Button Start

Awwww, Isn't that little creature above cute? Where did it come from?

Birds can be found all over the world.

There are almost ten thousand different species of birds that can be found on Earth! For example, penguins and hummingbirds are different species of birds that live in different climates. During this lesson, you will learn about a bird’s life cycle. Below, you can see many different types of adult birds:

Image - Video

Adult female birds, like the those pictured above, will lay their eggs in a nest. All birds start their life in an egg. While the baby bird is still in the egg, the adult birds will incubate the eggs. This means the adult bird, usually the mother, will sit on the eggs to keep them warm. If the eggs get too cold, the baby bird will not survive. Not all eggs look the same — below, you can see different types of eggs in nests:

Image - Video

  • Did you look at all the different birds with their eggs?

As you looked at the pictures, you probably noticed not all bird eggs look the same, and neither do the nests. Different adult birds lay eggs that come in different colors and sizes. They also make nests that are different from each other. Each species of bird makes its own type of nest and lays its species’ specific type of egg. For example, American Robins make their nests out of twigs and leaves and they lay blue eggs. Ostriches lay large white eggs in the nests they create on the ground. Every bird is different!

When it's time, about 12 to 14 days, the baby bird hatches from the egg. Once the baby bird makes its way out of the shell, it will be in the nestling stage. During this time, the baby birds will rely on their parents to take care of them. For the first few days, the parent will continue to sit on the baby birds to keep them warm. Once the baby birds get bigger, the parent(s) will bring them food and feed it to them. The nestlings will start to grow feathers and their bodies will get bigger and stronger. This stage lasts about two weeks for most species of birds.

Image - Video

The next stage of a bird’s life cycle is the fledglings stage. The little nestlings will grow into larger fledglings. During this stage, which takes about another 10 to 15 days, the fledglings will still need help from their parent(s). They will learn how to feed themselves and they will start taking flying lessons from their parent(s). Once the fledgling learns how to fly and find food, it will be ready to leave the nest.

Image - Video

You learned about the beginning stages of a bird’s life cycle. You learned about the egg, nestling, and fledgling stage. Tell your parent or teacher what happens during each stage.

After sharing, move on to the Got It? section to watch baby birds hatch out of eggs!

Image - Button Next