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.
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.