Baby Robins 1

Debbie Pinard

Dunrobin, Canada

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Artist's Description

359 Views Nov 5, 2011
526 views 3/5/12
Featured in Amazing Canadian Wildlife and Closeups in Nature.

These robins built a nest right outside my bathroom window. I have been following their progress, and have a complicated set up for my camera consisting of a box, a black sheet, a tripod and a step ladder so that I can get pictures.

Dunrobin Ontario Canada
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The male may visit the area where the nest will be located before the nest is built, and he may bring nesting material to his mate, but the female chooses the nest site and builds the nest. Although robins prefer to nest about 3 m above ground in spruce and maple trees, they readily adapt to a wide range of vegetation and built structures. They will even nest on the ground.

The female makes the cup-shaped nest of mud mixed with grasses or small twigs and frequently with string, scraps of cloth, and small bits of paper. She works mud into place with her feet and bill, moulds it with her body, and lines the nest with fine grass. She takes from two to six days to build the nest, making an average of 180 trips a day, with mud or grass, during the peak building period. The first clutch, or set of eggs, is laid in late April or early May. A clutch of three or four eggs is common.

The eggs are the familiar robin’s-egg blue, though white ones, rarely brown spotted, do occur. The female generally begins incubating, or warming, the eggs after the last egg is laid, and she continues incubating for an average of 12 days. She usually sits on the eggs for 40-minute periods, then stands on the rim of the nest, turns the eggs, and flies off for a break. The male frequently stands guard when he is not in the feeding area and may occasionally sit on the eggs. The nestling period lasts from 13 to 16 days.

The young weigh about 5.5 g when they hatch. Fed by both parents, they each receive an average of 35 to 40 meals a day. The parents keep the nests clean by carrying away or eating the chicks’ fecal sacs.

When they are about 13 days old, the young leave the nest, travelling up to 45 m on the first day. They may remain in the parents’ territory for three weeks and may be fed by the male while his mate is on the next clutch. The young become independent of the parents at four weeks.

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Artwork Comments

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