How Do Robins Grow from Egg to Flight: Part 4

Carolyn’s Online Magazine (#COMe)


Part 4: Quiz #3

As I walked onto my pation towards the nest, at 10:25 a. m. May 23rd, I was startled by four baby robins flying past my face in different directions. I followed one of them to an undergrowth. Meanwhile, Mom Robin and Dad Robin flew frantically about, chirping, I suppose, to gather their young ones. I called the one cat inside, where both will remain for a couple of days, giving time for the robins to gather.150517 DSC00055EJOn May 1st I noticed a nest, tucked behind a light on our patio, in which were four gorgeous blue eggs. We were about to take an unplanned journey with Mom Robin, who was incubating her eggs.

This is the 4th of four posts—an introduction (How Do Robins Grow From Egg to Flight?: Part 1) and three 10-question quizzes (each with a bonus question) on robins, illustrated with photographs I shot daily to record the chick’s progress and the care they received from Mom Robin and Dad Robin. (How Do Robins Grow From Egg to Flight?: Part 2,  and How Do Robins Grow from Egg to Flight? Part 3)

Below is the third and final quiz, and the final post on the robins’ journey from egg to flight. I hope you have enjoyed this series on how robins grow from egg to flight.

May 21

May 21


 21. When and why do robins like having blue jays around?

22. What is “nest fidelity?”

23. When do robin chicks first try to fly out of the nest?

24. Where do baby robins go after they leave their nest?

25. How do fledgling robin chicks learn to survive after they leave the nest?

26. When do young robins learn to fly?

27. What is the mortality rate for robin chicks when they leave the nest?

28. When do robins separate themselves from their parents?

29. How should you care for a robin’s egg if you find one?

30. Can a human successfully incubate a robin’s egg and then successfully raise the baby from a hatchling?

May 21

May 21


What causes Mom Robin to disappear after she builds a nest?

To learn the answers click on more:


One of Parent robin's last visits to the nest.

One of Parent robin’s last visits to the nest.

21. Robins actually appreciate the presence of blue jays—as long as they stay away from their nests—because jays are good at warning about other dangers.#

22. Her nest-site fidelity is acceptance of  the whole setting of the nest, and this fidelity grows during the nesting season.#

23. Robin chicks leave the nest about two weeks after hatching. When the nestlings leave the nest they do so within 1 day of one another.^^^ Often young robins fly out of the nest before they can fly back. Their parents will continue to feed them until they get the strength they need to fly back into the nest, within a day or two.^

24. After leaving the nest (called fledging) baby robins at first stay on the ground, close to their parents,^^^ usually taking cover on the ground.^^

25. During their first two weeks on the ground Dad Robin teaches them how to survive.*** Thus, Dad Robin is pretty essential for the babies’ “finishing school” lessons on surviving#

26 Robin chicks have a full coat of feathers, making them ready to fly, at about 2 weeks old.^^ It takes them another 10-15 days for them to become strong fliers and independent birds,* capable of sustained flight. While they are learning to fly they follow their parents and beg them for food.^^^

These robin chicks are ready to fly---note their full feathers.

These robin chicks are ready to fly—note their full feathers.

27. The mortality rate is high in our familiar songbirds. For robins, it’s around 50% each year once young birds have fledged. A robin surviving to midwinter lives an average of 1.7 years after that.* The lifespan goes up dramatically for the ones that survive that critical time because they’ve learned so many important life skills. Of those that survive their first year, most wild robins live to be about 5 or 6.**

28. Following the time period after learning to fly, they stay near the home nest for another four months.^^

29. The best thing to do with a found egg is to leave it be. It might not be fertilized or it didn’t develop properly—after the other robin chicks are a day or two old, the parents get rid of unhatched eggs. If perchance there is a healthy baby inside the egg there is a strong possibility that it will be badly deformed, making its short life unendurably painful.#

30. This is a VERY remote possibility. Robin eggs require high humidity, gentle daily turning, and level heat—requiring a high-quality incubator to do it properly. Once the babies hatch humans can’t feed the robin chicks regurgitated worms and insects, nor can we devote every waking moment to a baby robin, as its real parents do naturally.#

A true empty-nest syndrome

A true empty-nest syndrome


  1. Something dire happened to one or both robins: hit by a car, taken by a predator, etc.
  2. She laid an egg but then something came and got the egg, and she quit laying.
  3. She discovered a potential predator, such as a cat, jay, chipmunk, or snake, eyeing her nest and abandoned it because it wasn’t a safe place to raise babies.
  4. She built her nest more quickly than expected (perhaps there was a a good supply of mud from a recent rain?) and she wasn’t quite ready to start laying eggs.#
Let us at ''s been tempting too long...

Let us at ’em…it’s been tempting too long…










About carolyncholland

In several if my nine lives I have been a medical lab technician and a human service worker specializing in child day care, adoptions and family abuse. Currently I am a photo/journalist/writer working on a novel and a short story. My general writings can be viewed at My novel site is
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1 Response to How Do Robins Grow from Egg to Flight: Part 4

  1. Grace ( & Fred) Wells says:

    Another article “for the birds” which I”ve enjoyed !


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