When Do Baby Birds Leave the Nest?

While the exact period varies from species to species, most songbirds are ready to leave the nest about two weeks after hatching. This nestling period typically follows an incubation of roughly two weeks.

The European starling may fletch only after 21 to 23 days, while a chimney swift may take 28 to 30 days to leave its nest. Some birds, such as the kildeer, leave the nest within hours of hatching and become independent after 20 to 31 days. Perhaps the slowest bird to learn to fly is the rock pigeon. If the egg is laid in midwinter, the baby can take 45 days to fletch.