But if a bird can fly, why wouldn’t it nest in a tree?
A valid argument, but just one that doesn’t hold much weight. For starters, there are many reasons a bird might choose to be a Ground nesting birds.
For example, some birds don’t like flying, and prefer to walk around. Others simply enjoy being near water, while others do not like getting wet. Some birds nest on the ground because they’re too lazy to build a nest, while others just prefer to sleep on the ground. There are also those who find nesting on the ground easier or safer than building a nest.
And, of course, there are birds who simply cannot fly. These include penguins, ostriches, emus, and eagles. But the truth is, most birds can fly, and there are plenty of reasons why they’d rather not.
5 Birds That Nest on the Ground
Shorebirds are often confused with waders because both groups spend much of their lives near water. But there are some major differences between the two types of birds. Waders are larger and heavier than shorebirds, and they usually don’t fly like shorebirds do. They tend to feed along the coast rather than in open areas such as prairies.
The term “shorebird” can refer to either waders or shorebirds, but it’s generally considered to mean shorebirds. They are an example of Ground nesting birds.
#4: Game Birds
Game birds are animals that are hunted for sport. They are typically small birds that are native to North America. Some species are popular among hunters while others are considered pests.
The term “game bird” refers to any bird that is hunted for food by humans. This includes waterfowl such as ducks, geese, swans, and shorebirds like gulls, terns, sandpipers, plovers, and waders. Other types of game birds include land birds such as quail, partridges, pheasant, turkeys, grouses, and guinea fowl.
Most game birds nest on the floor rather than in trees. Their nests are usually built within shelter structures called roosts. Roosts help keep eggs safe from predators and provide protection from extreme weather conditions. Many game birds also use artificial nesting boxes supplied by wildlife rehabilitators and zoos. These boxes are designed to mimic natural nesting areas.
Although some species of game birds migrate seasonally, most do not. Instead, they spend the entire year living in their breeding habitat. This means that they must find a mate and raise young during the same period each year.
Many game birds do not migrate far. For example, the Canada goose spends most of its life in one area, even though it migrates south for winter. In fact, Canada geese often return to the same pond every year. They are an example of Ground nesting birds.
Waterfowl refers to a group of birds that includes ducks, geese, swans, and others. These birds are often found near bodies of water. They are known for being able to swim well, fly long distances, and feed in water. Their diet varies depending on their size and type. Some eat plants while others eat fish and insects.
The word “waterfowl” came into use during the late 1500s. At the time it referred to any bird that lived near water, including seabirds like gulls and terns, but it didn’t become associated with ducks and geese until the early 1800s. In fact, some people still refer to duck hunters as “duck hunters.” They are an example of Ground nesting birds.
#2: Wading Birds
Wading birds are among the world’s most numerous bird species. They are often lumped into the same group as shorebirds, although some wading birds don’t even lay eggs like shorebirds. In fact, many wading birds spend much of their lives out of sight of land, living either in shallow waters or high up in trees.
The majority of wading birds nest on the ground, usually next to wetlands. Some birds prefer dry areas, though, such as sandbars, dunes, and beaches. Many wading birds travel far distances each spring and fall, sometimes traveling thousands of miles.
Like waterfowl and shorebirds, most wading birds are migratory. They tend to fly south in the winter and north in the summer. However, there are exceptions, particularly in North America where some wading birds remain throughout the year. They are an example of Ground nesting birds.
iStockphoto / Gary Gray
Songbirds include any one of nearly 5500 different species of perching bird. Most songbirds nest in trees because it provides shelter and protection from predators. However, there are some birds like the hermit thrush, bobolink, lark, meadowlark, and some species of Sparrow and Warbler that nest on the ground because it is easier to find food sources.
Usually, songbirds build their nest in trees to protect them against predators. But sometimes, songbird hatchlings must remain inside the nest for several days before they can leave and start caring for themselves. This process is called fledging. Songbird hatchlings usually begin to practice singing while still in the nest. They learn how to sing songs and recognize melodies. Once they’re ready to fly, they use their wings to help them take flight. They are an example of Ground nesting birds.