How Long Does it Take for Robin Eggs to Hatch?

The American robin is one of the most studied birds. It belongs to the thrush family and was given the name robin because of the reddish-orange breast. It is most active during the day and rests by assembling the feathers when night falls. The following is a closer look at the robibn to determine its breeding behavior. We also answer the question that a lot of people keep asking ornithologists; how long does it take for robin eggs to hatch?

Courting and nesting

In many cases, Robins start their courtship in January during mild winters. However, the breeding season will not commence until March. During this courtship season, Birds form pairs and build the nests together.

Most of Robin’s nests are located in nooks, climbing plants, crannies, and hollows. They can also be on piles of logs, tree roots, and hedgebanks that provide concealed cavities.

Laying the egg

The female robin only lays about 3-5 eggs after completing the nest. The diet during this time mainly comprises of earthworms sourced in the morning hours. Besides, the robin takes more time to groom the nest and look for more food as opposed to nesting until all the eggs are laid. In some cases, the male may also help to feed the female to ensure she has the energy for the next very important phase.

The incubation

Once all the eggs are laid, the incubation starts. It will take about 14 days (12-16 days) to hatch. During these 14 days, the Robin rarely leaves the nest. It must keep the eggs at the right temperatures to help the embryo develop well before hatching. The body temperatures of Robin are about 104 degrees F that is maintained by holding the feathers together. During nesting, the female takes most of the time on the nest while the male provides about 80% of the food.

If the weather gets very hot, the robin spreads the wings to keep them cool. Besides, she also regularly moves the eggs to ensure that the eggs get even temperatures and the embryo develops evenly.

After about 14 days, the eggs will start hatching following the order in which they were laid. Just like other domestic birds, robin chicks use a sharp hook at the end of the beak to poke a small hole in the egg shell. This could take up to a full day as the chick works tirelessly to break the shell open. Note that the newly hatched robins are blind.

Leaving the nest

The robin chicks are fed very many times every day. Most of the time is taken sourcing for insects that are brought to the chicks. They develop very fast, and by the 20th day, they are ready to leave their nest. Note that because the nests are located on the ground, the chicks often fall prey to predators including the domestic cats. Over 50% of the robin chicks do not survive the first year.

Birds Hunting Season in Alaska

Hunting is an important part of the Alaskan heritage. Small game hunting provides a unique opportunity for young hunters to learn and be part of the great Alaskan culture.

Migratory bird hunters in Alaska can harvest snipes, sandhill cranes, and waterfowls among others during the hunting season.

During the birds hunting season, the fresh and marine wetlands bring over 1 million geese and 12 million ducks in Alaska and neighboring countries such as Canada and Russia. About 8,800 waterfowl hunters are in Alaska anticipating hunting about 70,000 ducks and 7,000 geese this hunting season.

The Alaska migratory birds hunting regulations

The main reason that Alaska allows birds hunting is because they are in plenty during the migratory season. However, the government has strict laws that seek to protect birds and regulating the process. It has created 26 game management units that control the 5 migratory birds hunting areas.

Before setting out hunting, it crucial to establish the game management unit and establish the correlating zone. These zones have varying regulations such as shooting time, licenses, and stamps.

Hunters might also be required to get special permits to hunt special birds such as swans or hunting in the Anchorage Costal Wildlife Refuge.

Small game hunting does not require a permit

While hunting big game and special birds requires you to get a permit, hunters are free to hunt the small animals. The main bird species that you can hunt without requiring a stamp are various species of grouse including sooty, ruffed, spruce, and sharp-tailed.

You can also hunt the ptarmigan species such as the rock, willow, and white-tailed that is native to Alaska.

Note that though you can simply pop into the wild and hunt these birds, you are restricted to only harvest one type of each species in every location.

 Getting it right during the birds hunting season in Alaska

Over the years, the Federal and State governments have sought to assist hunters in understanding the right way to go hunting. For starters of non-residents, you will enjoy going out to hunt birds by hiring a hunting guide.

These are people with vast experience on sighting various types of birds, all hunting regulations, and navigation in the wild. You can also check the Sea Duck Joint Venture website and Arctic Goose Joint Venture website to learn how to hunt different ducks and Arctic geese respectively.

These sites are always updated to show the latest information such as population and related regulations.

Waterfowl hunting

  • Unlike hunting on land, going for birds on water requires extra preparations.
  • You will require a different type of gear to wade through the marshland and reach the waterfowls for retrieval. Make sure to include appropriate hunting boots, waterproof clothing, and correct rifle.
  • You will also require a good boat and an appropriate guide to water birds. Remember that if you shoot the wrong bird, you risk hefty fines, license getting canceled or loss of your hunting firearm.
  • The birds hunting season in Alaska creates a perfect opportunity to get into the wild and be part it. To enjoy hunting various birds, it is important to understand all the regulations and use the right firearm.

Species of Birds Found in Alaska

Alaska is a birds’ heaven.

With more than 500 documented species, birds’ enthusiasts are sure of getting unique thrill following them in the woods, swamps, bays, and rock crevices. Here are some of the species that you should expect to see in Alaska.

The least sandpiper:

Though this bird looks like other sandpipers, it is easily identifiable because of its small body. It is the smallest documented shorebird in the entire globe.

Black legged kittiwake:

This black-legged Kittiwake is a species of smaller gulls that establishes its nest in open rocks. Though this nest location protects the chicks from threats on the ground, they are left prone to other dangers from above especially the dangerous Eagles.

The Northern Shoveler:

This bird is found in Alaska and Canada. Its distinguishing characteristic includes an elongated bill that is wider on the tip and contains small protections that help strain food from water.

Males are dark green on the head and rusty sides while females have a brown head and appear speckled all over the body.

Red necked grebes:

This is a migratory bird that only comes to Alaska in summer to breed. It is known for aggressive behaviour during the summer while those that remain in winter are very quiet.

Notably, the bird swallows its feathers to assist with filtering indigestible bones. Besides, it flies mostly at night but navigates in the water during the day.

Horned puffins:

This is one of the most beautiful birds that every watcher who comes to Alaska wants to see. Their bills are dark-red, backs are black while the underside is white.

What makes them even more attractive are the orange feet and unique horny feathers that roll back from behind the eyes. They usually come to the rocky coastline of Alaska where they live in colonies before departing.

The common raven:

These are the common crows that have existed for years. They have a special attraction to people and will always follow you to the Alaskan hiking camps or party sites.

In winter they can be seen resting in groups of thousands or more.

The Northern Goshawk:

This is one of the carrion birds that can be easily spotted all over Alaska.

It hides in trees targeting prey especially other smaller birds and rodents among other smaller animals.

The emperor goose:

It has a typical goose body with a white head and black body with thin white lines. They are true arctic residents and rarely go far from Alaska and Siberia.

The bald eagle:

This is a bird of prey known for building very wide nests for many years. They are fast when taking on prey and are even known to swim when taking fish from the water.

Common loon:

The common loon is an easy spot in Northern wild lands of Alaska. They spend most of the time in the water. The legs are positioned on the far back that helps them to propel through the water rapidly.

The bird only leaves the water to lay eggs and heads back when the chicks are a few days old.

Parasitic Jaeger:

Bird watchers commonly refer to the Parasitic Jaeger as a ‘fish pirate’ because it steals food from other birds with ruthlessness.

Any bird that comes close to it is harassed with multiple dives and pecks and is known to cause trouble even to bigger birds.

Hunting for Birds in Alaska

Hunting your favourite birds in Alaska is enthralling

It is an easy and enthralling opportunity to get attached to nature and appreciate its diversity. Notably, hunting birds is considered part of small game, and does not need a license.

Fortunately, the birds are in plenty, and you can enjoy following the species of choice. To make the expedition even more enthralling here is all that you need to know.

Common birds that you can go hunting in Alaska

As you march with a short gun on the shoulder and dry leaves cracking under your weight, the main birds you are likely to get in the wilderness include ruffled grouse, spruce grouse, ptarmigan species, and sooty grouse. Most of these birds will hide or fly away from you into the woods.

You should, therefore, search for thickly covered areas and high-bush cranberries. Other hiding areas include birch and spruce forests that provide a wide range of food from insects to nectar. Do not forget to check on river valleys and marshlands where many birds frequent to drink.

Using hunting dogs and guide

Notably, the wilderness that birds inhabit is also home to thousands of dangerous bears. To hunt successfully and keep off bears, it is advisable to consider using a guide.

The guides know routes that bears use and will easily help you to stay away from trouble during a hunting expedition. You can get a list of top guides in Alaska from a simple search on the internet.

Whether you prefer to use a guide or not, a trained hunting dog will be an invaluable asset. The dog will retrieve the birds such as waterfowls, grouses, and ptarmigan from their hiding so that you can follow them and take a shot.

Hunting gear and equipment

As a bird hunter, you require the right gear to stay safe when away from home. Make sure you have the right waterproof boots that rise well above the ankle. They should be fitting and have firm treads to make movement in the wild easy.

You will also require chaps/hunting vests that provide ample pockets for your shot gun shells and carrying the birds you shoot.

Most of the shooting vests are also carefully designed to guarantee adequate camouflage so that birds do not note as you approach.

Other gear includes warm jackets and long pants to protect your feed. Note that the Alaskan weather can change rather fast and it is advisable to be ready with ran vests.

Best guns for hunting birds

To bring down the common birds such as ptarmigan and grouse, the best rifle is the light shotgun. Many hunters appear to have a special preference for the 9, 8, and 7½ lead shots because birds are light and usually flush at close range.

If you will be hunting waterfowl, it is advisable to go for a heavier riffle, preferably the 12-gauge short gun. This is because you will need to fire at a longer range.

Remember that once you have finished your hunt, cleaned and oiled your tools you should always store them in a biometric gun safe which is the most secure way to prevent accidents in the home and also theft.