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May 25, 2013 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: Fledgling Robins

The nesting season is well under way and the American Robin is one of the first songbirds to lay their eggs. They are short distance migrants and usually get a head start on summer residents who travel greater distances to arrive at their breeding territories. So it was no surprise that I am already seeing fledgling robins.

Last week I was walking at Lincoln Marsh on the nature trails and spotted a parent robin, the dad, trying to coax a newly fledged youngster off a branch along the trail. The youngster was having none of that and sat frozen on his branch. As soon as the parent saw me he flew off to a nearby tree.

Fledgling Robin

As I walked past I noticed another little robin nestled in some brush. A sibling. He didn’t look any happier about being out of the cozy nest.

Robin Fledgling

If the parents sense danger they will stay away. I heard the dad chirp out an alarm call telling them to be quiet, a yeep followed by clucking. After taking a few quick shots I located a tree I could hide behind to observe them. After a while they forgot about me.

Fledgling Robin

Eventually the little guy decided to give flying a try. He stood up and began flapping his wings in place and soon took off to a nearby tree branch. As I walked away I noticed the sibling was still hiding in the brush.

Fledgling Robin With ParentInteresting Facts:

  • The first chick will fledge, or leave the nest, after about 13 days. Nestmates will leave over the next 24 hours.
  • Fledglings wander a short distance and are still fed and cared for by the parents for about 3 weeks.
  • Once all the nestlings have all fledged, the female will begin building a second nest and the primary care of the youngsters falls to the dad.
  • For the first few weeks out of the nest they cannot maintain flight and will spend a lot of time hiding in shrubs and cover. That stubby little tail is the reason why. It will take a few weeks for it to grow.
  • After about four weeks the juveniles can manage on their own.

Saturday Snapshot was originated by Alyce at At Home With Books. For the summer it will be hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy. Visit her blog to see more great photos or add your own.

© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



Leave a Comment
  1. laurelrainsnow / May 25 2013 9:23 am

    Such amazing facts, and I love that you know their “language.” Thanks for sharing…and enjoy your weekend.



    • Leslie / May 25 2013 9:26 am

      Yes, I speak Robin! They have quite a few different calls and songs.


  2. Beth Hoffman / May 25 2013 9:24 am

    You captured some great shots of that little guy!


  3. Arti / May 25 2013 9:25 am

    I’ve never seen baby robins before. Your photos are wonderful… so close-up and detailed. Yes, lots of spring babies we’re seeing. And… thanks for the tidbits!


    • Leslie / May 25 2013 9:31 am

      They do a good job of hiding and staying quiet. Ironically, sometimes I find them because I hear the parents clucking, which tells them to be still, but then I start looking around.


  4. therelentlessreader / May 25 2013 9:57 am

    Cute cute ultra cute! 😀 I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: I LOVE YOUR PHOTOS! 🙂


  5. irene / May 25 2013 10:43 am

    I’ll have to listen more carefully, for the parents. I love your shots. I have a bird nest outside my bedroom window, and boy do they get up early. I joked with one of the seniors that I visit, that I’ll be sending them an eviction notice.


  6. BermudaOnion / May 25 2013 11:00 am

    We saw some fledglings last year and really enjoyed watching them trying to take flight!


  7. Melissa @ Melissa's Bookshelf / May 25 2013 11:26 am

    So sweet! It’s amazing how spotted their chests are before they finally get that red/orange solid color! Great pictures, thank you for sharing!

    Here is my SATURDAY SNAPSHOT post.


    • Leslie / May 25 2013 2:38 pm

      The American Robin is actually a thrush, which is why they have the cute speckled breast. The English settlers called them robins because they sort of resembled the English Robin, but there is no relation… but the name stuck.


  8. Ali (Worducopia) / May 25 2013 2:22 pm

    What sweet photos, and an interesting nature post to go along with it. Thanks!


  9. Christine Harding / May 25 2013 2:40 pm

    Your robins look quite different from our’s! My Snapshot is at


    • Leslie / May 25 2013 2:55 pm

      That’s because they aren’t robins, they are thrushes. You have the actual robins! 🙂


  10. WordsAndPeace / May 25 2013 2:59 pm

    we also went there last Saturday! I think we need to exchange phone #, what do you think? I was amazed by the number of orioles there, and oh the carpet of lily of the valley, so intoxicating smell, reminded me of France – we have a tradition to sell those on May 1st. I had never seen such a large carpet of it in the US


  11. Louise / May 25 2013 5:38 pm

    What great photos Leslie. And your post is so informative, and more in your comments. I can certainly see how the little one looks like a thrush, interesting the change from the juvenile to the adult.


  12. bettyl / May 25 2013 6:43 pm

    They are just adorable! I can’t imagine only 4 weeks and they are on their own.


  13. Kailana / May 25 2013 7:42 pm

    What wonderful pictures!!


  14. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea / May 25 2013 8:08 pm

    I love that you share all of the interesting facts with us as well. I feel so lucky to enjoy the photos and learn something as well. thanks:)


  15. Brona / May 26 2013 4:27 am

    Such clear close-ups. Well done!


  16. brokencookiesdontcount / May 26 2013 6:44 am

    We have so many robins in our yard. We keep an eye on the babies. They keep coming close to the house to say hello when we come out of our back yard. I love watching the birds! Have a great weekend, Leslie!


  17. Beth F / May 26 2013 9:33 am

    I’ve been startling some fledglings in the yard every time I go out to the garden — they scurry into the bushes.


  18. mdott922 / May 26 2013 12:36 pm

    Great pictures! My 4 year old daughter is really into birds right now, so she enjoyed this as well! Thanks for taking part in Saturday Snapshot!


  19. Suko / May 26 2013 12:37 pm

    Your bird photos are absolutely stunning! They belong in a book.


  20. A.M.B. / May 28 2013 11:31 am

    Great pictures! A few days ago, I came across a fledgling robin in the road (which worried me!), but s/he did finally make it to the grass.



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