Please enjoy these photos of my daily documentation of the Mama and baby robins from the day the eggs were laid until the day they leave the nest as fledglings. You may also like our rockin’ robin craft and our paper plate robin craft. Both are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
Last summer, we returned home after 10 days of camping to discover that in our absence, a mother Robin had built a nest in the rafters of our covered deck. Shortly after, she laid 3 eggs, and I set up a ladder close by, and spent the next several weeks getting up close and personal with our baby robins. I was so blessed to get pictures of the babies hatching, of the parents feeding the baby robins, and I even managed to get pictures of the robins leaving the nest.
If the kids want to make a nest of their own, check out our easy paper bag bird’s nest craft.
You can see even more pictures of our baby robins here in this album on my Facebook page.
How many eggs do robins lay?
An American robin typically typically lays 3-4 eggs in her first nesting of the season.
When do robins lay eggs?
A robin may have 2 or 3 broods per season (between April and July), and will usually lay fewer eggs with the 2nd and 3rd nesting. A robin lays one egg per day at mid-morning, and doesn’t sit on her nest to incubate the eggs until all of her eggs have been laid. This way, all of the baby robins start developing at the same time in the eggs.
How long do robins eggs take to hatch?
After laying her eggs, a mother robin sits on the nest for about 12-14 days until her babies hatch.
I managed to get a photograph of our babies on the day that they hatched, and I photographed their growth every day until they left the nest.
Mama Robin was very trusting and patient as I climbed up and down my ladder, snapping the pictures that you see here.
It was an absolute privilege to watch the miracle of life unfold right before our eyes and to see the changes that would occur in “our babies” quite literally, overnight.
Both parents feed the babies.
And it was such a thrill to watch the parents take turns feeding the babies every day. Yes, that’s right… “parents”. Both the mother and father robin feed the babies. They take turns flying in and out of the nest all day long bringing their babies their meals.
What do baby robins eat?
For the first four days, the parents feed them regurgitated food, and then their parents start giving them small bits of earth worms. Soon after, they start feeding them whole worms and bugs.
What about the baby robin poop?
Every time a baby robin eats, it poops immediately afterwards. Their poop is neatly contained in a thick membrane, so it’s similar to a tiny balloon. This is called a fecal sac. In the first few days after hatching, a robin’s poop doesn’t contain any bacteria, so the mother and father robins actually eat their babies’ poop. Eww! After a few days, the parents pick up the fecal sac in their beaks, and carry it a safe distance away from the nest, dropping it as they fly. They do this to prevent predators from knowing where the nest is.
How long do baby robins stay in the nest?
Baby robins are ready to fledge (leave the nest) when they’re 13-14 days old.
One evening, two weeks after 2 of the 3 eggs hatched (the 3rd never did), our little ones spread their wings and clumsily left the nest.
Fortunately, we were sitting on the deck when that moment arrived, so I grabbed my camera, and snapped the few pictures of our babies, as they hopped through the grass, and then made their way up into the low branches of a pine tree at the back of our property.
Where do baby robins go when they fledge?
The mother and father robin will stay close to the fledglings once they leave the nest, but the mother will need to leave them before long to lay another clutch of eggs. They’ll stay with the father and continue to learn from him (and from other robins) until Dad has to leave them to take care of the new round of babies.
I hope you enjoy the pictures of our baby robins.
We were thrilled when Mama returned again in late spring, and laid three eggs, and then again in July to lay 2 more, allowing us to experience it all for a second and third time, until our babies left the nest and hopped off into the shelter of the pines, once again.
Children’s Books About Robins:
To learn more about robins, and to hear the songs they sing, click here.
Robin Crafts for Kids:
Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.