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June 4, 2011 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Fledgling Robin

Last week I posted photos of robin nestlings, baby birds still in the nest and being cared for by their parents. Once they have grown enough feathers to fly out of they nest they are called fledglings. At this point their wing and tail feathers are still short and they do not have their adult plumage yet but they are no longer fully dependent on their parents and are capable of some flight.

This little bird probably left the nest earlier in the day. He still had all his downy feathers, short wings and no tail. My husband had called to me and said that there was a little bird stuck to the fence peeping. Sure enough there he was, peep, peep, peep, looking terrified.

I took a few shots, told him his parents would be right back, and then hid in the garage to observe. I knew the parents had to be nearby but they will not return if they think there is danger. The little guy kept peeping and eventually an adult bird showed up with a worm. I was too far away to get a decent shot of the parents. After he ate it was time for a nap.

He stayed on the fence until dusk and probably would have stayed there all night but I relocated him to the shrubs for safety.

This is a dangerous time for baby birds. They don’t know enough to fear predators and sitting on the fence all night would have made him a meal for some night time animal. The next morning I heard him peeping again calling his parents who resumed teaching him to be a bird.

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. Cathy / Jun 4 2011 1:05 am

    You got some wonderful shots, Leslie!

    Next Saturday I should have a post up about one of my birds here in Arizona– Wilbur the Verdin. Wilbur will test anyone’s skill as a photographer and laugh all the way back to his nest. He’s been teasing me for about three years now.


    • Leslie / Jun 4 2011 6:50 am

      I’m looking forward to it. I’ve never seen a Verdin. I have birds that challenge me too!


  2. Beth F / Jun 4 2011 6:26 am

    Awesome photos! And glad you saved the little guy from the night hawks.


  3. bermudaonion (Kathy) / Jun 4 2011 6:46 am

    Oh my gosh, he’s so cute. I didn’t know you could relocate them like that. As a kid, I was always told the parents would abandon baby birds if they smelled humans on them.


    • Leslie / Jun 4 2011 6:49 am

      Birds have a poor sense of smell, they won’t pick up the scent. I let him jump on my arm and walked him over to the bushes, I didn’t actually pick him up. They are so trusting an innocent when just out of the nest … that was why I was afraid he would get eaten if left exposed.


  4. laurelrainsnow / Jun 4 2011 7:02 am

    Oh, what a fascinating story. And to realize that birds, like people, try to leave the nest too soon! It’s a good thing the parents hover nearby….



    • Leslie / Jun 4 2011 12:16 pm

      And once they leave, they stay out of the nest. The parents do follow them around for a few days and feed them and teach them to find food. I was watching a dad and two little ones hopping after him begging for food.


  5. irene / Jun 4 2011 9:35 am

    What amazing photos, so detailed you did very well at getting them so close up, you must have one bang up camera.


    • Leslie / Jun 4 2011 12:17 pm

      Camera is a Canon Rebel with a 250mm zoom. I was able to get close because the little guy wasn’t afraid of me.


  6. Alyce / Jun 4 2011 9:58 am

    He’s such a cute little guy! I was wondering why that baby starling hung around so close while I was taking photos last week. I had no idea it was just that the babies are very trusting.


    • Leslie / Jun 4 2011 12:19 pm

      They learn fast. I was following one this morning trying to get photos of the dad feeding him and he was smart enough to hop away when I got too close.


  7. Sherrie / Jun 4 2011 10:21 am

    Great snapshots! He looks so unhappy being out of the nest. Have a great day!

    Just Books


  8. Literary Feline / Jun 4 2011 10:39 am

    Such detailed and gorgeous photos! Robins hold a special place in my heart.


  9. dyane / Jun 4 2011 12:15 pm

    precious shots and with the down still on him/her 🙂 thanks for saving him for the night in the shrubs….our bird nest came up empty so these are particularly wonderful for me to see what might have been !


  10. Beth Lowe / Jun 4 2011 12:22 pm

    Leslie, these shots are amazing…good enough to enter into a contest! That baby is so adorable. You are definitely a woman after my own heart, tucking it into a safe spot for overnight. I have no robin babies yet, as far as I can tell, but our season is late, late, late after our chilly spring. Of course, it did get up to almost 90 degrees last week, and we had tornadoes in western MA, which is almost unheard of here, but what are you doing to do? Thanks for making me smile!


    • Leslie / Jun 4 2011 5:05 pm

      Thanks … I’m thinking of entering a few contests this year.

      It was chilly here too until this week. Today it’s 95 degrees. I still have a wren singing and putting sticks in all the boxes. They haven’t started nesting yet… or he can’t find a mate!


  11. Diane@BibliophileBytheSea / Jun 4 2011 12:56 pm

    OMG…love these. Now what type of lens took these? You are amazing Leslie.


    • Leslie / Jun 4 2011 5:06 pm

      Same lens… the 55 to 250mm zoom. I was able to get real close to him.


  12. Trish / Jun 4 2011 1:47 pm

    That is possibly the sweetest little thing I’ve ever seen! Thanks for the story behind it too. I’m glad the parents came back and that he survived the night.


  13. lee / wild mountain / Jun 4 2011 2:15 pm

    Not only are your photos fantastic each week, I’m learning a lot about birds from you.


  14. Kay / Jun 4 2011 2:31 pm

    Seems you were a part-time parent to this little birdie too. You helped protect him and allowed his parents to come back to further his bird education. Great shots!!


  15. Marie / Jun 4 2011 4:25 pm

    S/He’s absolutely beautiful! Your photos are wonderful. I love the colours/details. Everything. Great job.


  16. Mary / Jun 4 2011 6:59 pm

    I love these! My brother has a photo similar to the last one – it won an award!


    • Leslie / Jun 4 2011 7:24 pm

      I’m starting to think I should enter some contests.


  17. Suko / Jun 4 2011 7:10 pm

    These are gorgeous photos–are you a professional photographer?


    • Leslie / Jun 4 2011 7:29 pm

      Nope. I’m an amateur. I’ve never even taken a photography class. I do read books and look stuff up on the internet to learn different techniques but it’s mostly trial and error and practice. I’ve always loved to take nature photos.


  18. Bev@My Reader's Block / Jun 4 2011 8:28 pm

    Love the fluff on his head! I always look forward to your bird pictures.

    I’m a bit late (it’s been a busy weekend so far), but here’s mine:


  19. TheBookGirl / Jun 5 2011 9:30 am

    I so look forward to your photos every week Leslie 🙂
    This little guy is so cute; how nice that you were able to help him avoid the night dangers!


  20. avisannschild / Jun 7 2011 2:56 am

    These are beautiful shots, Leslie! I always feel happy when I see robins — I feel a certain kinship with them since one of my sisters is named Robin!


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