May 16 2014

How To Build A Robin’s Nest

Mid-May is the height of robin nesting season in Pittsburgh.  The first nestlings have hatched and some are ready to fledge.

On Thursday I saw my first-of-2014 robin fledgling in Schenley Park.  Last month his mother spent 5-7 days building his nest.  This video shows her process in only 8.5 minutes.

While Mr. Robin sings in the background, his mate brings dry grass and drops it into place.  Her project looks sloppy for a while, then she does a cool thing.  She rapidly stamps her feet inside the nest while holding the edges with her wings and tail.  This makes the cup exactly fit her body.  How cool is that!

Halfway through Mr. Robin comes for a brief inspection.  Since he neither builds nor incubates, the nest is of passing interest to him.

When the cup is complete Mrs.Robin lines it with mud, then adds fine bits of dead grass to make the nest soft and lays her eggs.  (The last two steps are not in the video.)

Robins raise two or three broods per year and usually build a new nest for each brood.

What a lot of trips back and forth!

(video on YuoTube by richpin56)

5 responses so far

5 Responses to “How To Build A Robin’s Nest”

  1. Nellie Curranon 16 May 2014 at 7:39 am

    What a great video! Mrs. Robin does all the work and Mr. Robin just waits and sings! Thanks Kate for sharing this.

  2. Doug & Judi Cunzoloon 16 May 2014 at 8:11 am

    Thanks for sharing Kate ,that was really cool to watch.

  3. Theresa maeon 16 May 2014 at 10:14 am

    thanks for sharing, now we’re off to build playdough/grass and stick nests at our house :)

  4. Gene Hendersonon 16 May 2014 at 11:26 am

    Kate,
    Our family have had the joy of watching this from the comfort of our home live. A robin has built her nest on our window sill above our front door. So going out the front door is off limits till the 3 chicks fledge. They just hatched a couple days ago. Before she laid the 3 eggs we watched in fascination mom build the nest and use her body to shape the inside. Now we’re enjoying her feeding the little ones.

    Gene

  5. Rob Protzon 17 May 2014 at 10:37 am

    Also saw my FOY Robin Fledgling on Thursday afternoon right in front of my building.

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