Mouths to Feed

May 13, 2021 by Team Journey North

Hungry and growing offspring are keeping American Robins busy. Be on the lookout for nests, eggs, nestlings, and fledglings. And report your observations to Journey North.

“Robin feeding her four three-day old babies.” Photo by: Johanna (Mount Calvary, WI; 05/01/2021)

Diligent Parents

As Journey North volunteers can attest, American Robins take their parental duties seriously. Males and females are responsible for certain jobs as they raise young. The female builds the nest, lays the eggs, and incubates them. Once the nestlings hatch, both parents get busy feeding them. When the nestlings fledge (leave the nest), both parents continue to follow them and feed them. After a few days, the female builds a new nest and lays new eggs. While she incubates the new brood, the male continues taking care of the fledglings. By the time the new eggs hatch, the fledglings are ready to be on their own and the male is able to help feed the new nestlings.

Lori in Stillwater, MN: “I had a Robin show up on or about 4/24/2021 and start a nest in my flower planter on my front porch. The nest is complete and she laid an egg yesterday then left for the day. She came back today, laid a second egg and is gone again. Thank for the very interesting information about them laying one egg per day. It will be fun to watch this process over the next few weeks…we have a front row seat.” (05/04/2021)

Jim in Burlington, ON: “Clutch of 4 eggs! Must be very fresh as 3 days ago nest was empty! Momma robin is incubating.” (05/06/2021)

The Next Generation

Reports of nestlings and fledglings are picking up as spring brings new life.

Elizabeth in Oak Creek, WI: “Female [American Robin] feeding babies. All 4 eggs have hatched!” (04/30/2021)

Nichole in Columbus, OH: “My two Robin fledglings flew from the nest today. I am so happy I was home to see this once in a lifetime moment. (05/13/2021)

Keep Reporting

Keep reporting what American Robin activities your observe. Nesting behaviors including gathering materials for nests, egg laying, feeding babies. Other behaviors include foraging, mating, splashing in bird baths, and many more. Checklist of Robin Observations.

May is a busy period of spring migration. Are you observing hummingbirdsmonarchs, or songbirds such as orioles? You can participate in these and a number of other Journey North projects throughout the rest of spring and early summer.