The nest in the window box



is the site of a successful hatch. Yesterday there were two baby robins. When they first break out of the eggs, they are limp and naked.



This morning a third chick hatched. Perhaps the fourth will emerge later today or tomorrow.



What a contrast to chicken chicks that take a few hours to dry off, and then are up and on their feet and able to eat and drink on their own by day two. Parents not needed. But these robin babies need two parents to survive. The father has been bringing insects to the setting mamma to eat.


Soon, both parents will be bringing food for their ravenous chicks. Childhood for these babies, though, is condensed into a few short weeks. For some species, the parental bonds never end. Yesterday at the nursing home I met a 101 year-old woman and her granddaughter.

Happy Father’s Day.


  1. Thank you for sharing this story and the great pictures with us!

  2. Looks like Phoebe has taken over Buffy’s spot under the nesting boxes.

  3. I’ve been thinking Siouxsie’s clueless nature has given her the best. She can be outside among the gems, sleep on the ladder and can also spend time with her old pal Edwina. She may not be the gems favorite hen but she is tolerated and it happened all on her own.. when they pushed her off the roost, she climbed back up. If Edwina continues to stay in the barn she has no chance of ever fitting in the flock. Phoebe loves Buffie’s alone spot…so funny. As for the robins, we were kept out of the potting shed for weeks while a robin hatched and raised her chicks. We did remove her nest before she laid the eggs but hours later she had one built in the same spot and filled with an egg so we left her stay. Happy Father’s Day to the men in your life.

  4. Soon those robins mouths will appear to be larger than their little bodies when open! I always imagine they keep their mouths open just in case something will fly in there other than feeding times! Thanks for the update on the robin’s nest. Also, amazing that Siouxsie went back into regular egg laying since moving in with the Gems!

  5. We also had robins nesting earlier in the season, on top of a downspout elbow under the eaves in a corner of our house. The parents have been raising their young there for several years now, and they kept building on top of the previous year’s nest. Now it’s three storeys high and there’s barely enough clearance for them to get in and out. We will have to knock it back a few layers now that they’ve left, so that they have room again next year.
    Did you get some positive feedback about the pullets at the nursing home? I hope they are charming the residents (and their families), and making life more interesting for everyone there.

  6. Mr Robin will have a busy Fathers Day! Did Phoebe ever get into her hutch last night? I watched until it was to dark to see. Happy Fathers Day to all Dads!

  7. i was watching Phoebe last night too! She was zooming around as darkness fell!

  8. Flowers, tomato plant, and Robins all so beautiful. I would have loved to been able to see this when I was a child. Great science here. Actually, love it as an adult too! Happy Father’s Day to all the dads! Hope you have a great Sunday, Terry.

  9. Happy Father’s Day to Mr. Robin! I wish them all a happy life! I would so love to see one of those shell fragments in person for the true color! I only know pigeon and dove parents firsthand. The fathers take an amazing active shared role in egg sitting, feeding, baby sitting, etc. The babies are helpless lumps for such a long time unlike other birds and chicks. I watched a little white father dove stand over his clueless tiny baby in a nest and coo at it sweetly. Pretty interesting to observe the varieties of parenting. These are such lovely pictures for the day!

  10. Great photos! Isn’t that blue egg color amazing? No wonder it has its own name: ‘robin’s egg blue’. In my first year of chicken-keeping, I was fascinated to learn that bird babies came in two types, as you observed, and that they have names. ‘Altricial’ birds are hatched blind, helpless and featherless. These are the ones born into nests, mostly (all?) in trees, safe from ground predators. Songbirds and birds of prey. ‘Precocial’ birds are alert, active and fluffy almost from the get-go — these are the chickens, ducks, quail, pheasants, etc that have to be ready to run immediately. Like horses and deer, they are vulnerable to predators all around them. I guess I never thought about chickens being related to wild birds, but duh, of course they are.

    I don’t usually get to see baby robins, they nest too high in our trees. But sometimes after a late fall windstorm, I find a nest on the ground, with pieces of shattered shell, like bits of sky, to remind me of the spring and summer nursery activity. Keep those photos coming, and thanks!

  11. Forgive me, but the Robins are the secondary draw to this post… I’m talking to you, beautiful hanging basket! Is that ONE petunia plant on the end? That lush this early in the year? I’m jealous.

    • One petunia plant, and one hanging cherry tomato. I’ve never seen or grown that before, but I’m hoping that the robins will have moved on by the time the tomatoes appear.

  12. These robins broke a record in hatching the eggs. Hasn’t it been less than 2 weeks? More like a week since you first showed us the eggs in the nest? They are cute and it is nice to finally see a newborn robin. I hope they all live and prosper.

  13. Sorry if this is way off topic, but does it help to bathe a broody hen?

    • Bathing will not break a hen’s broodiness; it will make her very angry. I have a FAQ about broodys, and you can learn more about them there.