Friday, May 20, 2011

Super Mom

Earlier this week, while I was out looking for warblers to photograph, I came a robin building it's nest in a small tree cavity down in Crosby Farms Park. It reminded me that soon it will be time to photograph the babies. The American robin is one of the earliest song birds, in North America, to lay eggs each year. Because of this they often have two or even three broods per year.

The female robin does all of the work. She builds a nest of grass and twigs in a tree or bush typically 5 to 15 feet off the ground. She uses mud to reinforce the nest and then lines the inside with something soft, such as feathers or fine grasses. She will then lay her clutch of 3 to 5 sky blue eggs which she will incubate for the next two weeks. When the chicks hatch they are altrical, helpless, with no feathers and eyes closed. For about two weeks mom will need to be the food provider, protector and heater for the new born chicks until they are ready to leave the nest. Once they fledge they continue to follow mom around looking for food, but a couple of weeks after they fledge they will be capable of sustained flight and finding food on their own. Once all of the chicks can take care of themselves mom will begin working on a new nest for a second brood.

1 comment:

Brooks Rownd said...

You're so fortunate to have places like Crosby in the city. When I get off the plane in MSP Crosby is the first place I go. :)