Last Updated on June 5, 2022 by Guillermina
How long is a bird pregnant before laying eggs? Let’s find out in this very interesting article.
Spring is the beginning of the breeding season, at least for most birds, although there are a number of exceptions. During this period, they pair up with mates, build nests, lay eggs, and raise their young. Did you know that some of them repeat this cycle up to 3 times a year?
How often do you come across some weird questions that you just don’t know the answer to? We have to admit that this is a fairly common case with most people. In our opinion, one of the most interesting questions we have heard lately is how long is a bird pregnant before laying eggs? If we have intrigued you and you want to know the correct answer, stay with us and find out.
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The Reproductive Anatomy Of Birds; Solved & Explained
Before we give you the answer to the question “how long is a bird pregnant before laying eggs”, find out a few interesting facts about birds and their reproductive system.
Did you know that these beautiful creatures do not have the same reproductive body parts as mammals? Thus, both male and female birds have a cloaca, i.e. a small opening that has a unique role, namely it serves as the bodily exit for their digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems.
Simply put, the “vent”, as it is also called, is actually an opening through which feces and urine are excreted, as well as bird’s eggs. This opening is most easily noticed during the mating season, as it tends to swell and protrude outwards relative to the rest of the body. Out of season it is much less prominent and is usually not visible.
As for the process of reproduction, when the bird matures enough and is ready to breed, its reproductive organs (similar to the testes and ovaries in humans), swell and begin to produce the sperm and ova.
Males store sperm in their cloaca until the opportunity to mate arises. During mating, the female receives this sperm in the cloaca, which then travels deeper into their bodies to fertilize the ova. Once fertilized, it slowly begins to turn into an egg.
We are very close to discovering the final answer to the question “how long is a bird pregnant before laying eggs” however there are a few more things we need to explain to you.
What Does A Sex Bird Works & Look Like?
The sexual intercourse of birds is quite fast, which is why it is often called “cloaca kiss”. The positions and postures of birds assumed to mate can vary, but in most cases, the male is above the female. To facilitate the process, females often hunch, lay down, or bow, but what they have in common is that both birds are always turned in the same direction. The male generally helps the female by moving her tail to the side while trying to reach her cloaca by twisting and arching his body.
As we have stated, the process is very fast, moreover, it may last less than a second, but the sperm is transferred quickly during this “cloacal kiss”. After that, the mating is complete. It is certainly interesting to note that birds (mostly) remain aroused by their hormones for a week or more and can mate several times during this period.
Now is finally the time to find out how long a bird is pregnant before laying eggs. So keep reading…
How Long Is A Bird Pregnant Before Laying Eggs?
As we mentioned, after mating the sperm travels through the female reproductive system to fertilize the egg. So, how long is a pregnant bird before laying eggs? The duration of the process varies from bird to bird, and here are some examples we have collected for you.
When it comes to songbirds, females are pregnant only a few days before laying eggs. On the other hand, for some larger specimens, such as typical chickens, it can take about 10 to 15 days. Females of great tits and white-crowned sparrows are usually pregnant for four to five days, ducks and pigeons for six to eight days, gulls for about 13 days, and penguins for as long as 16 days.
That would be it, now you know the answer to the question of how long a bird is pregnant before laying eggs.
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To Conclude – How Long A Bird Is Pregnant Before Laying Eggs
One thing is for sure, the reproduction of birds is completely different from the reproduction of mammals, moreover, most of the development of the baby takes place outside the mother’s body. That makes them one of the most amazing creatures on this entire planet, right?
Let’s briefly repeat the duration of pregnancy in some species of birds:
- Songbirds – just a few days
- Chickens – 10-15 days,
- Great tits and white-crowned sparrows – 4-5 days,
- Ducks and pigeons – 6-8 days,
- Seagulls – 10-13 days,
- Gulls – up to 16 days.
If you have any questions, please contact us in the section below. Also, take a look at this article as well.
Do Birds Look Pregnant Before They Lay Their Eggs?
Females are usually a little heavier before laying eggs, but in most cases, they do not look pregnant.
How Long Does It Take For A Bird To Lay An Egg?
Here are some examples of how long some bird species are pregnant before they lay eggs:
- Songbirds - just a few days
- Chickens - 10-15 days,
- Great tits and white-crowned sparrows - 4-5 days,
- Ducks and pigeons - 6-8 days,
- Seagulls - 10-13 days,
- Gulls - up to 16 days.
How Do You Know When A Bird Is About To Lay Eggs?
In short, birds are usually a little heavier before they lay eggs, and in addition, their bellies will enlarge and feel firm.
How Many Times Per Year Do Birds Lay Eggs?
Most birds nest only once a year, but there are exceptions, and one of them is the famous American Robin. This species of bird can have up to 4 or 5 nests during one breeding season.