May 8, 2001: Sitting Pretty

Julie's robin is incubating 4 eggs after building her nest about 10 feet up in a spruce tree. Tree-nesting robins usually build their first nest of the year in a spruce or pine, and virtually never in an oak or maple, though often their second or third nest is in one of these trees.

Q Why do you think that Robins virtually never build their first nest of the year in an oak or maple?

Photo by Julie Brophy

Julie didn't discover this nest until today. But we know from other robin studies that the female probably spent about 5-7 days building before she laid her first egg. We also know that female robins usually lay one egg a day until their clutch of 4 or 5 eggs is complete. If the weather is bad, nest construction may take two weeks. The weather before and during nest-building are more important for robins than many species.

Q. Can you list some ways that weather affects robin nest construction?

See the next Robin Nest Photo Lesson and discussion of today's questions.