American Robin Nestling Development
Photos of Baby Robins from Eggs to Fledgling
Betty & Barney's Nest

American robin nestling chicks, 2 days old, begging for food.

Every year American robins nest under the deck of our home. We watch nests succeed and fail, but have never documented development of the chicks. This spring, of 2015, we are photo-documenting two nests. 
American Robin Chick Development - Betty 2015
American robin female guarding her nest.
American robin Betty's sheltered nest, resting on electric meter, under backyard deck, next hoses and back garage door.

Page last updated 7/2015
Left: Four American robin chicks begging for food. Above: Chicks sleeping.
Betty and Barney's Brood
Betty is a fierce parent, and continuously makes an alarm call until I leave the area of the nest. On May 16th, when her chicks were six days old, she began "dive bombing"--swooping down towards me, very close, but not making contact. 

I originally thought Betty was a single parent, because I did not see another bird guarding the nest. But I have since seen a shy robin that hangs out in the area, but doesn't come around when I am there. So Betty probably has a Barney. 

We began tracking this nest on the day the chicks hatched. 

Day 1 - Hatching

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Betty's nest 
Wilma's nest 

American Robin 
Nesting Facts
Scientific name: 
Turdus migratorius

# eggs in clutch: 3 - 5
# clutches: 1 - 3
incubation of eggs: 
~2 weeks
nestlings fledge (leave the nest): 
~2 weeks

Betty & Barney's chicks fledged when they were 13 days old.

American robin female guarding her nest.
American robin female guarding her nest. We have named her "Betty". She is easily recognizable due to a notch in the feathers on her head. Betty has a shy mate, that we don't see as often. We've named him "Barney."
American robin nest with two hatchlings and two eggs. Note that the shell of the egg on the left breaking open
Three American robin hatchlings and one egg. See one nestling begging for food, pushing itself up with its stubby naked wings.
Four day-old American robin chicks have hatched, and are sleeping.
Above left: Robin nest with two hatchlings and two eggs. Note that the shell of the egg on the left breaking open. Above: Three hatchlings and one egg. See one nestling begging for food, pushing itself up with its stubby naked wings. Left: All four chicks have hatched, and are sleeping...something that baby birds do a lot of.
Day 3

Four 2-day-old American robin chicks sleeping
Four 2-day-old American robin chicks begging for food.
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Sad news today. Lumpy, the little bullfrog we raised from a tadpole 2 years ago, died of unknown causes today. 
Ribbit-In-Peace buddy!

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Article Summary: Photo record documenting the development of a brood of American robins, nesting under the backyard deck of a southwest Michigan home. This page features one of Betty's 2015 broods.
We are careful not to disturb the nest or chicks, an do 
​not spend much time at the nest. Just long enough to snap a photo. Check back frequently, and Like Us on Facebook to follow the chicks development!

We have many photos of the pair of robins that we are following. This page features Betty & Barney's nests. Click the links to learn about American robins and see photos of Wilma and Fred's broods! 

Betty & Barney's 1st Nest
Under back portion of deck, facing east, 29 inches (73.6 cm) above the ground, built on top of the home's electric meter. 

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BACK TO American Robin Nestling Chick Development - Page 1
I do not recall past nests in this location. Although we may have discouraged the building of nests here previously, as it is a very busy location, next to the outdoor faucet and the back door to garage. The nest is tucked away, and pretty well hidden, but low to the ground. 
Day 4

American Robin Nestling Chicks 6 Days Old
Day 5

American Robin Nestling Chicks 5 Days Old
American Robin Nestling Chicks 6 Days Old
Day 6

American Robin Nestling Chicks 8 Days Old
Day 8

American Robin Nestling Chicks 7 Days Old
Day 7

American Robin Nestling Chicks 10 Days Old
Day 10

American Robin Nestling Chicks 11 Days Old
Day 11

Don't they all 
look like feathered versions of Grandpa 
from The Munsters?

Monarch Butterfly Metamorphosis 
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See our butterfly garden and the monarchs that complete part of their life cycle there. Learn how to attract Monarch Butterflies to your yard!
Monarch Butterfly newly emerged from cocoon.
American robin nest with three eggs.
American Robin nestling chicks 12 days after hatching
American Robin nestling chicks 13 days old - top view
American Robin nestling chicks 13 days old - top view
Day 13 - Chicks Left Nest!
Day 12
The Shark Ligth & Easy Steam Mop experiment was repeated and the samples plated on a plate of TSY agar. The "before cleaning" floor sample is on the left (note numerous bacterial colonies) and the "after" cleaning sample on right.
Shark Light & Easy 
Steam Mop Experiment 
See a microbiology experiment on how well this steam mop cleans floors.
Side view
Top view
Today some of the chicks started snapping their beak defensively when I approached, rather than begging for food. Ah, they grow up so fast!
American robin chick that has just fledged (left nest).
Empty American robin nest on day chicks fledged.
I only saw one, very
fledgling near the nest.
A very tidy, empty nest.
Tabellaria diatom algae @400xTM
More Information on the American Robin

​Cornell Ornithology Lab recommends that, when monitoring a nest, you check it only every 3 - 4 days, to minimize disrupting the birds and avoid attracting predators. At SPO, we do check our nests more often, to get photos for science education. Visit the Cornell Ornithology Nest Watch website to learn how to observe nests safely. ​

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Betty & Barney's 2nd Nest
Betty built a second nest, rather than reusing her old nest. She first tried to build on top of the back deck security light, but since this is a high traffic summer area, and the nest was very messy, we nocked it down before she got very far. She build another nest for her second clutch 91" (231cm) above the ground in the thick grapevine covering the back of our deck.

Betty tried to build her second nest on top of the security lighting under roof peak. We discouraged that location. The nest she completed was well-camouflaged in the deck's grapevine.
Betty's nest 
American robin nest camouflaged in grapevine.
American robin eggs, unfertilized and broken.
American robin eggs, unfertilized and broken.
Betty laid three eggs in her second clutch finishing on June 26th She then brooded (sat on) the eggs for nearly a month. She abandoned the nest on July 22nd. (Robin eggs hatch in 2 weeks.) Didn't see Barney at all during this time, but he is a shy bird.
American robin nesting plant material from a nest we discouraged.
Betty's nest 
American robin nesting plant material from a nest we discouraged. 
We have not been able to get a really good photo of Betty. She is very wary.  
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Nest Watch!

Betty's nest