May 9, 2001: Happy Birthday TWO You!

This morning when Julie peeked into the nest, two babies had hatched! Can you tell which egg will hatch next? (Hint: Why does one egg have a tiny hole in it?)

These babies' eyes won't open until they are 5 days old. They are uncoordinated, and spend almost all their time resting at the bottom of the nest. Despite being so tiny and helpless, they know how to do at least three things. Do you know what they are?

Q. What three things do these two newly hatched baby robins already know how to do?

Photo by Julie Brophy

Can I be excused?

Eventually, one of these babies is going to have to go to the bathroom! What will happen then?

Q. How can the nest and other babies stay clean when one baby robin poops?

Discussion of Previous Questions

Q Why do you think female robins leave the nest earlier in the morning than females of other species?

A large percentage of the diet of female robins is earthworms. They are most easily found at night (when robins can't see) and early in the morning, but as the sun comes up they retreat back into their underground holes. So the early bird catches the worm! Since other kinds of food items are as easily found later in the morning, many female birds remain on the nest until sunrise, to minimize chilling the eggs.

Q. About how much time did this female probably spend incubating her eggs on May 8, the day this photo was taken?

The female probably incubated about 77.5% of the time between 5:23 am (25 minutes before dawn) and 8:25 pm. This time period is 15 hours and 2 minutes, so she incubated about 11 hours and 39 minutes during this daytime period. Plus she incubated 8 hours and 58 minutes during the night, so she probably incubated a TOTAL of about 20 hours 37 minutes that day.

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