American Robin Nestling Development

Photos of Baby Robins from Eggs to Fledgling

Wilma & Fred's Nest 2015

American robin nest with three eggs.

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 the first of Wilma's 2015 broods.
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: Wilma 2015
American robin Wilma's current clutch of three eggs.
American robin Wilma's clutch of three eggs. She laid the first egg May 12, They begin hatching May 24th. 

Page last updated 7/2015
Wilma & Fred's Brood
Wilma laid her first egg of the current clutch on Tuesday, May 12. Then laid an egg each day for the the next two days, finishing with her her third and last egg on May 14.

Clutch of Eggs

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Betty's nest 
Wilma's nest 
We are careful not to disturb the nest or chick, 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 two nests we are following. This page features Wilma & Fred's nest. Click the link below to learn about American robins and see photos of Betty & Barney's four nestlings! 

American Robin 
Nesting Facts
Scientific name: 
Turdus migratorius

# eggs in clutch: 3 - 5
# clutches: 1 - 3
incubation of eggs: 
~2 weeks
nestlings fledge: 
~2 weeks

Wilma & Fred's eggs had all hatched 11 days after the last was laid. Their  nestlings fledged 12 days after hatching. 

American robin female guarding her nest
Wilma & Fred's Nest
Under side portion of deck, facing north, 45 inches (114.3 cm) above the ground, built on top of the home's electric meter. 

Home School Science! 
Young children are natural born scientists, full of curiosity! Join the at-home experiments and explorations of a scientist mom & her kids.
Kid's Watching Moon Jellies
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Many nests in this location have failed in the past. The nest is near a bird feeding area, and is very visible.​ We hung a Boston fern in front of the most exposed area of her nest, making it less visible. Wilma and Fred may be ferocious enough to brood a successful nest in this location!
First egg laid in American robin clutch.
American robin female guarding her nest
Second egg laif in an American robin clutch.
Third and last egg laid in an American robin clutch.
Chicks Began Hatching!
11 days after last egg was laid. 

American robin same-day hatchling begging for food.
American robin eggs beginning to hatch.
American robin, same day as hatcling, begging for food.
Two Eggs Show Signs of Cracking
American robin female brooding nest.
Put a hanging Boston fern next to Wilma's nest. Provides some cover on the most exposed side.
All Three Chicks Have Hatched
5/26/15 * Day 1

American robin hatchling chicks, day of hatching.
American robin hatchling chicks, day of hatching.
Latest Tadpole News 
Sad news today. Lumpy, the little bullfrog we raised from a tadpole 2 years ago, died of unknown causes today. 
Ribbit-In-Peace buddy!

Thanks for showing us how cool frogs are!

> See Lumpy's Story 
on the Tadpole
 Metamorphosis Page

Bullfrog That Recently Completed Metamorphosis
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Monarch Butterfly Metamorphosis 
Main Page

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 hatchling chicks 2 days old.
Day 2

American robin hatchling chicks 3 days old
Day 3 * 5/28/15
Wilma and Fred are always very serous about guarding their nest! Yesterday one of the dive bombed me and made contact, scratching my upper arm. Good job guys!

the fierce!
American robin female on nest with two chicks visible.
American robin female, Wilma, on nest. She and her mate, Fred, ferociously guard their brood.
American robin nestling chicks 4 days old.
Day 4

Plate of TSY Agar With Bacterial Samples from Dishes Before And After Dishwasher

Does the automatic dishwasher sanitize dishes

TSY agar with sample from dirty dishes on top (note bacterial colonies that grew), and sample from cleaned dishes on bottom.
What to wear when photographing a robins nest
American robin nestling chicks 7 days old
American robin nestling chicks 8 days old
American robin nestling chicks 9 days old
Day 7 

Day 8

Day 9

What To Wear When Monitoring Nest of 
Aggressive Robin Parents
Wilma making alarm call 

Day 6

Fred and Wilma very physically defend their nest, by biting and scratching. When I go to quickly take a picture of the nest everyday, I now wear a big hooded winter coat for protection. 
American robin nestling chicks 10 days old
Day 10

Day after chicks fledged
Missed taking photos of nest on June 6th and 7th. Did see Wilma on the nest June 6, and chicks were gone by morning of June 7. 
American robin nest after chicks fledged.
Day 13

Chicks probably fledged in the afternoon / evening of June 6, since they were the right age on that date and the nest was clean and neat, so unlikely a predator got them before they fledged.

Good job Fred and Wilma! 
You are a couple of fierce beasties!
Hoe to Kill Kitchen Bacteria & Sanitize Surfaces
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.​

Day 3

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Nest Watch!

American robin nestlings begging for food.
American robin female sitting on nest.
American robin female making alarm call.
American Robin 
Alarm Call! 
Listen to the alarm calls and attack from Wilma and Fred, as I approach to take photos of nest.