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May 28, 2011 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Robin Nestlings

The American Robin doesn’t seem to mind humans and will happily build their nests in our yards and near our homes. A few years ago a pair built this nest in a shrub right outside my front window near the door. They were very sneaky because I didn’t see them until they had completed the nest and produced four bright blue eggs.

Robin's Nest

This photo was taken shortly after hatching. I came home from work one day and the eggs were gone and in their place were these wiggly little naked birds. When I would open the door they would think food was coming and stick their heads up with mouths open.

They grew quickly. The photo below was day eight. They already look look like little birds. Robins typically spend 12 to 14 days in the nest before fledging.

Interesting Facts:

  • The female chooses the nesting site and then builds the nest from the inside out forming a cup of grass, twigs, moss and roots and then reinforcing it with soft mud.
  • An American Robin can produce three successful broods in one year.
  • On average, only 40 percent of nests successfully produce young and only 25 percent of those fledged young survive to November.
  • About half of the robins alive in any year will make it to the next.
  • A lucky robin can live to be 14 years old.


I link up my bird photos on Saturday Snapshot hosted by Alyce at At Home With Books. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.



Leave a Comment
  1. Kay / May 28 2011 5:54 am

    Those shots of the robins are fabulous! Those statistics are a little sobering, percentage wise. Survival of the fittest indeed!


    • Leslie / May 29 2011 1:40 am

      Sadly it’s a tough life being a bird. So many predators, including other birds such as Crows and Jays who will eat the eggs. House Wrens will raid another birds nest and poke holes in the eggs. And then there are Cowbirds who will swap out a birds egg with their own.


  2. laurelrainsnow / May 28 2011 6:00 am

    Wow! I love the blue eggs, but the new little birds are fabulous! Great shots. Thanks for sharing the photos and the facts. Those statistics show how optimistic those birds have to be…or perhaps they just keep doing what they do.



    • Leslie / May 29 2011 1:41 am

      I think they just do what they do! And good thing they are so persistent.


  3. Trish / May 28 2011 6:27 am

    There’s nothing quite as eager as a tiny nestling. Look at those mouthes! We discovered a nest over our porch and it wasn’t long before the neighborhood cats started hanging around underneath – a grim reminder of the robins’ survival statistics.


    • Leslie / May 29 2011 1:57 am

      Yes, cats can be very damaging to birds.


  4. Diane@BibliophileBytheSea / May 28 2011 6:50 am

    Leslie, these shots are incredible. I love the one with their beaks oped LOL


  5. Leeswammes / May 28 2011 7:12 am

    Beautiful pictures, Leslie. I never knew they had blue eggs. I also enjoyed your “facts”. So, really an individual robin has very little chance to survive but when it does, it may live up to 14 years. That is much longer than I would have thought.


  6. Helen Murdoch / May 28 2011 8:10 am

    Fabulous shots! What a great series


  7. Sherrie / May 28 2011 9:09 am

    Awesome shots! Thanks for sharing the stats, I didn’t know that about robins. Have a great day!

    Just Books


  8. Patti Smith / May 28 2011 9:10 am

    Absolutely fantastic photos!!


  9. Nise' / May 28 2011 9:22 am

    Fantastic shots. They are tricky when they build their nests. We have to place a snake on our light outside our front door or they will build one there and not let us in the house.


    • Leslie / May 29 2011 1:35 am

      They were not happy when we would open the garage door but eventually they got used to us. Snakes are definitely a deterrent … I’ve seen snakes (on video, not in person) practically inhale birds eggs and even eat chicks. 😦


  10. Jennifer Woodward / May 28 2011 9:22 am

    What amazing photos! Absolutely lovely. Thanks for sharing these true beauties of nature.



  11. Lee / Wild Mountain / May 28 2011 11:20 am

    Amazing! Didn’t know robins were relatively long-lived. How wonderful to see the incredible color of the eggs!


  12. Alyce / May 28 2011 11:30 am

    Great photos and fascinating robin facts! I didn’t know any of those things about robins. I love how very blue their eggs are!


  13. TheBookGirl / May 28 2011 12:20 pm

    Just when I think that one of your photos can’t be topped, you post something even more amazing 🙂 That shot of the birds opening their mouths to the sky is just unbelievable!

    We had robins build nests in our front yard when I was a kid, so I knew their eggs were blue, but I wasnt’ aware that only half of the robins alive in a given year, survive to the next 😦


  14. Beth Lowe / May 28 2011 12:54 pm

    Leslie, these photos are so beautiful! I have a gorgeous robin’s nest under my deck; I can’t quite see into it, but the parents are definitely close at hand. No hatchlings yet, but I’m keeping my eyes (and ears) peeled. Thanks so much for sharing. Positively delightful!


    • Leslie / May 29 2011 1:50 am

      That will be so wonderful to watch them up close. I wish they would nest in my yard every year. There are two pair of robins in my yard this year but I can’t find the nest… they are sneaky.


  15. Bev@My Reader's Block / May 28 2011 1:20 pm

    The babies are so sweet and I just think the egg color is fabulous! Lovely bird photos as always!

    Here’s my offering:


  16. BermudaOnion / May 28 2011 6:22 pm

    Those are amazing photos! We had robins build a nest in our yard a few years ago, but something got to their eggs before they could hatch.


    • Leslie / May 29 2011 1:52 am

      It’s sad so many of them don’t make it. Last year’s nest only had one little one survive. I’m not sure what happened, the nest was too high up to see, but sometimes the eggs don’t all hatch.


  17. Leslie / May 29 2011 1:58 am

    Thanks everyone for all your lovely comments. I’m always thrilled you enjoy my bird photos.


  18. JenniferB / May 29 2011 2:51 am

    Amazing pics. I love the one with the babies – bright orange mouths against all that brown fluff. Thanks for the facts, too. It is tough being a robin.


  19. Julie @ Knitting and Sundries / May 30 2011 12:52 am

    LOVE this post! The pics are fabulous! I really had no idea of the mortality rate, either.


  20. jdfield / May 30 2011 2:18 pm

    Great pics, guess the next step has to be a web cam witha life feed… ? 🙂


  21. Marie / Jun 2 2011 11:59 am

    Gorgeous photos!



  1. Weekend Birding: Fledgling Robin « Under My Apple Tree

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