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Column: Sit-down time varies for bird mothers

9:45 AM, May 8, 2013

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On Mother's Day weekend, many of the wild creatures at Crossroads at Big Creek in Door County are becoming mothers. For fish, frogs and insects, motherhood does not extend beyond laying eggs, but for birds and mammals, motherhood is a genuine commitment. Mother birds, for example, are instinctively compelled to care for their young, even before the eggs hatch.

During our annual Easter weekend EGGstravaganza, one of the children asked, "When a mother bird lays an egg, how long will it be before it hatches?"

As in most nature questions, the answer begins with, "It depends." ...

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