Breeding Season in Full Swing

May 27, 2021 by Team Journey North

As spring migration winds down, American Robins shift their focus to the breeding season. Be on the lookout for nests, eggs, nestlings, and fledglings. And report your observations to Journey North.

“Saw this [American Robin] nest under my deck. Momma is sitting on the nest.” Photo by: Kimberly (Chesapeake Beach, MD; 05/16/2021)

The Next Generation

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.

Christine in Lanark Highlands, ON: “4 baby robins in nest on vent with Mum busy feeding them.” (05/12/2021)

Janice in Mashpee, MA: “In an evergreen next to my front door I saw the nest and robin and these 3 beautiful eggs! The nest was reused from last year. There are many robins resident in my yard every year.” (05/14/2021)

Sako in Richmond, VA: “3 [American Robin] fledglings leaving the nest today.” (05/23/2021)

Other Observations

Another report of a leucistic American Robin! Leucism is a genetic condition which prevents pigments from reaching some or all of a bird’s feathers. Leucistic robins tend to have white splotches on their feathers, but the eyes and skin remain their normal color. 

Linda in Melbourne, IA: “Leucistic robin.” (05/12/2021)

Keep Reporting

Keep reporting observations of American Robins. Nesting behaviors including gathering materials for nests, egg laying, and feeding young. Other behaviors include foraging, mating, splashing in bird baths, and many more. Checklist of Robin Observations.

Are you observing hummingbirds and monarch butterflies? You can participate in these and a number of other Journey North projects throughout the rest of spring and early summer.