May 16 2014
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)