Chore Chart for Raising Robins
Duties for Males and Females

Although it's not written down anywhere, male and female robins know exactly what their duties are when it comes to raising young. Learn about the duties of each, and record them on the chore chart below. Then compare the work load of the male and female robins. (For help, see these links: "Eggstra, Eggstra" and "Spring Phenology for Robins" and the questions below.)

Male Robin's Duties

Shared Duties

Female Robin's Duties


Discussion Questions

1. Who do you think does more work in raising young, the male or the female robin? Give examples.

2. Which robin takes more risks, the male or the female? What risks do they each take?

3. Would you rather be a male or female robin? Why?

When biologists compare the reproductive behavior of males and females, they always consider the goal of reproduction: Each individual is trying to pass its genes on to the next generation.

4. Do you think the male or female robin is able to pass on its genes more easily? Which gender—males or females—passes on its genes with more certainty? (Clue: Think about the eggs.)

5. How does thinking about the goal of reproduction help you to understand the differences in the behavior of the males and the females?

National Science Education Standards

  • Reproduction is a characteristic of all living systems; because no individual organism lives forever, reproduction is essential to the continuation of every species.
  • In many species, including humans, females produce eggs and males produce sperm. An egg and sperm unite to begin development of a new individual. That individual receives genetic information from its mother (via the egg) and its father (via the sperm).