Q: Last spring I watched what appeared to be an adult male bird feeding an adult female. Why do they do that?
A: You may have seen courtship feeding. Courtship feeding is believed to function as ceremonial pair bonding. The male usually feeds the female, and the resulting nutritional boost contributes to more and healthier offspring. Some female birds actually rely on the male during the last few days before laying her eggs, as she gains weight and is less agile in flight. The male bird benefits by the offspring carrying on his genes, thus his reproductive success is increased.