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Our busy spring included many changes and one of the things I really enjoyed was watching this clutch of baby robins. The beautiful blue eggs are like little jewels in the spring months and I was so excited to see these inside an electric panel box near our house. With a small opening about two inches round, this was a perfect protected space for these baby robins to grow.  So for this Throwback Thursday (perhaps I should call it “catch up on things you forgot to share” Thursday?) I hope you enjoy these images of “my” baby robins.


Baby Robins May 1:

Robins usually lay one egg per day, creating nests of 3-6 eggs. The Iowa DNR says, “She then sits on the eggs for 16 to 17 days and spends another 16 to 17 days at the nest feeding the little hatchlings. Iowa robins usually try for two successful nest attempts between April and August.”  It looks like a lot of room in this box now, but just wait until the last photo!

Baby robins

Baby Robins May 10:

Its hard to say exactly how old these baby robins are here (somewhere between 1-9 days?).  Oh these little guys are not cute…

What does the robin life cycle look like?  Here is a breakdown of each part of a baby robin’s development broken down by the number of days.

Egg 12 – 14
Nestling 9 – 16
Fledgling 10 – 15
Total 31 – 45

Baby robins

Baby Robins May 13

As you can see, the nest is starting to get crowded!  The other feathers seen here are from our chickens and must have been picked up by the mother robin in the course of building her nest.

Q. How long do robin babies stay in the nest (nestling stage)?
A. Baby robins jump from their nest when they are about 13 days old (but the range is 9 – 16 days old).

Q. When do young robins learn to fly? (fledgling stage)
A. After leaving the nest (fledging), it takes another 10-15 days for babies to become strong fliers and independent birds.

Baby robins

Baby Robins May 17:

If my the camera on my phone hadn’t marked the date for these images, I would never believe how different these baby robins look after just four days. Eyes wide open, feathers developing and certainly more activity. It is hard to tell, but at this point one of the babies died. It was still in the box and later in the day the adult robin had pushed it out.  Developing five strong robins this far is still much better than most averages.

Baby robins

Baby Robins May 23:

This is the final image of “my” baby robins before they left the nest.  When I teach classes on butterfly gardening I usually give folks a hard time about how carefully the watch over “their” caterpillars and make sure there is enough food for them to pupate. It isn’t really ours at all, but it is easy to develop an attachment to the show nature provides us.

Baby robins



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