Live Robin's Nest Watch
Bookmark and Share
May 19, 2012  |  Vote 0    0

Live Robin's Nest Watch

Ancaster News

Robin's Nest Watch, Day 21, Saturday, May 19, 2012

Robins take flight on  flight

Shortly after 11 a.m. both babies fledged the nest

One minute they were there, the next they were gone,  but not without a lot of commotion.

At 11:15 am Saturday, May 19 the first of our Robin babies left the nest. Number 1 first tentatively hopped out to the fence rail and, after getting his bearings, took his first flight causing quite a stir in our backyard.

The little guy landed on the grass just a few feet from our dog, Max, a miniature Schnauzer.

As you can imagine there was quite an uproar as the adult Robins moved swiftly to protect their offspring.  Max appeared as stunned as those of us who witnessed the chaos. It was like a feathery little ball of fun dropped from the sky right in front of him.

To his dismay Max was quickly called off but not before the fledgling made another clumsy attempt at flight and landed in the pool.

Luckily we had the net close by and quickly fished the fledgling out of the water, gently placing him on the grass.

All the while a cacophony of birds -- some protectors, some predators -- swooped back and forth across the yard. We had to duck to get out of the way.

After a brief rest on the grass, the fledgling appeared uninjured and quickly found safety in a shady bush.

In all the confusion we hadn't noticed the second fledgling leave the nest. Luckily, shortly before 11 a.m., we had decided to record a new clip every 30 minutes in an attempt to capture the big moment on video, not a moment too soon!

A review of  our livestream recording revealed Number 2 left the nest at 11:23 a.m.

The fledglings quickly disappeared into the greenery of surrounding yards, but the adult Robins could be heard chirping madly, presumably protecting them from any possible harm.

The lonely third blue egg that never hatched remains in the nest. We have now turned the livestream camera off .

The adult male will feed the fledglings for the next two or three weeks until they are ready to go off on their own.

Meanwhile, the female may set up housekeeping nearby and raise a new brood.


Robin's Nest Watch, Day 20, Friday, May 18, 2012

At 12 days old, and on day 20 of the Robin's Nest Watch, our pair of nestlings have begun stretching their wings in preparation for their first flights.

This weekend should see our babies take a test flight. They can be seen on camera stretching their and we wonder if they're not thinking 'Hey, what are these things for?'

Robin's Nest Watch, Day 19, Thursday, May 17, 2012

The nestlings are covered in feathers and getting stronger. At times they are so active they appear on the verge of falling out of the nest.

Touching Babies:  If a baby bird is vulnerable and it appears to be in danger, then by all means, return it to its nest or to some sheltered branches.  Parent birds do not abandon their young if they have been touched by human hands.  That is a myth.  Birds have a poorly developed sense of smell but strong protective instinct.  Make sure you complete the 'rescue' quickly, distance yourself from it, and the mom and dad bird will find it in no time.

-- Source:

Robin's Nest Watch, Day 18, Wednesday May 16, 2012

Fledglings:   Baby birds that are beginning to leave the nest are called 'fledglings'.  Their flight feathers haven't fully developed, but they can flutter from branch to branch.  If you see a fledgling on the ground it could be taking a rest from its first flight or it could be waiting for one of its parents to feed it.  A chirping baby Robin on the ground, for example, is most likely telling its parents that it is hungry and it is letting them know where they can find it.  Parents coach their fledglings to find suitable cover and feed them even after they are able to fly.  Like all parents, adult birds can't be everywhere at once, so if you watch a grounded fledgling for a half an hour you'll probably see one of its parents bringing it several snacks.

-- Source:

Robin's Nest Watch, Day 17, Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Our Robin nestlings are nine days old and just days from testing their wings.

At nine days old the nestlings are feathered and becoming more active. The pair can often be seen peeking out from beneath the adults.

Robin's Nest Watch, Day 16, Monday, May 14, 2012

Baby Robins are covered in feathers. When will they fly?

The nestlings look a lot more like real birds today. They're covered in feathers and each day we see more and more of them as they crane their necks in search of food.

Robin's Nest Watch, Day 15, Sunday May 13, 2012

There's a lot of coming and going on our nest as the adult Robins work to feed our pair of nestlings.

If you watch the live video of the nest you're sure to see the nestlings peering out from under the adult from time to time

Robin's Nest Watch, Day 14 Saturday May 12, 2012

The nestlings are looking much more like birds and less like little pink clay figures. We will be able to see their heads peeking above the lip of the nest this weekend.

Robin's Nest Watch, Day 13, Friday, May 11,2012

What a difference a day makes!

Between their hatching on Sunday and today our nestlings have really changed. Every day they seem to double in size. Now sporting fresh feathers they're starting to look more like their Robin parents.

Who do you think is the most famous Robin?

Robin Redbreast

Robin Hood

Batman and Robin

Christopher Robin

Robin Williams

Cock Robin

Robin's Nest Watch, Day 12, Thursday, May 1o, 2012

At only four days old our two nestlings are several times the size they were when they hatched.

Did you know young Robins in the nest are fed by both parents, first by regurgitation, then by offering them larvae or whole earthworms. Once young Robins leave the nest, they are fed by the male for another two weeks. While he's tending to the fledglings, the female starts another clutch, if the nesting season is not too too far advanced.

-- Source:

Robin's Nest Watch, Day 11, Wednesday  May 9, 2012

It's Day 11 of our Robin's Nest Watch and three days since our first two eggs hatched. We're expecting the adult Robin's may remove the third egg from the nest today.


How long do Robins live?

- Robins usually live for six years, but can live up to 14 years

Can young robins fly?

-    Yes, they can fly but not that well because they haven’t fully developed their tail and wing feathers.

Where do they sleep?

-    Robins perch in trees, bushes or hedges when they sleep.

Where are they found?

- American Robins live in the United States year round. Migrating robins breed in Canada in the summer and roost in Mexico during the winter.

-- Source:

Robin Watch Day 10, Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Last night our Robins gave us quite a scare but this morning all is well. If you watched the streaming video last evening you would have noticed our adult Robin was very agitated -- the nest was crawling with large ants. While she appeared to eat a few of them, their presence seemed to bother her and eventually she flew away and did not return for a couple of hours leaving the nest unattended.

Our remote camera was disabled last night in order for us to service the laptop serving up our feed. Happily, when we turned the camera back on this morning the female was back on the nest.

 What do Robins eat?

- Robins eat berries, worms and insects

-    Fruit is the main diet during winter

-    Nestlings are fed earthworms and berries

-    More than one hundred chokecherry seeds were found

under a Robin’s nest with three nestlings inside.

-    Robins hunt for worms in yards and gardens


Robin Watch Day 9, Monday May 7, 2012

On Day 9 of our Robin's Nest Watch we're waiting for our third egg to hatch.  On Day 8 we awoke to find one nestling had emerged and a second later in the day.

Sunday was a busy day on the nest. We awoke to find one egg had hatched and a second hatched later in the day. See pictures of their progress here.

Robin 'nestlings'

- are pink with little tufts of feathers after they hatch

- Nestlings eyes are closed when they hatch and they have blue bulges where their eye will develop

- The eyes of nestlings open when they are about five days old

- Nestlings have really long necks and short featherless wings

- Nestlings take about two weeks to develop feathers before leaving the nest

-- Source:

Robin Watch- Day 8, Sunday, May 6, 2012

The fun has begun! The first egg hatched sometime overnight. Here's a quick video clip of the new arrival.

Today's trivia: What Robins look like

-    Robins have a reddish orange chest

-    The colors of the male are usually brighter than the female

-    The adult male robin has a black head; the female has a grayish-brown head

-    The short beak is yellow with a dark tip

-    They have white crescents around their eyes

-    Adult male and female robins are about the same size

-    Robins are medium size birds in the thrush family

-    The body is grayish –brown with dark tail feathers and a white rump


Robin Watch - Day 7 Saturday May 5, 2012

On the nest Trivia:

Did you know, according to,  it's the female Robin's job to maintain the proper incubation temperature for the eggs, keeping them warm during cold weather and shaded during really hot weather. The Robin also must turn or rotate the eggs several times daily. She hops on the rim of the nest and gently rolls the eggs with her bill. Have you seen our Robin do that? We saw her rotate the eggs on Thursday. Turning the eggs helps keep them all at the same temperature and prevents the babies from sticking to the insides of the eggshells.

Robin Watch - Day 6 Friday May 4, 2012

It's Day 6 of our Robin's Nest Watch and we're starting to get anxious. The eggs are about 7 or 8 day old which suggests they should hatch within the next few days.

Weather was not our friend yesterday. Wind and rain knocked out our feed again overnight but we're back up and running today. Our Robins are quite a hit with the viewers -- more than 800 unique viewers are watching the birds each day and have logged a whopping 1,500 viewing hours in just 5 days.

Some trivia about Incubation

-    Once the eggs are laid, it takes 11 to 14 days to hatch

-    The adult female sits on the nest to incubate the eggs

-    The eggs hatch within a day or two of each other


Robin Watch - Day 5 Thursday May 3, 2012

Our pair of Robins continues to mind the nest. We expect to see the eggs hatch in a few days. Some of our readers have asked questions about the live streaming:

Q: Yesterday when I checked in on the birds I noticed the date of the broadcast was a day old, what happened?

A: Ustream has a 'record' option that we use to record short clips from time to time. Yesterday the computer we are using to generate the feed overheated and a pre-recorded clip automatically played until the live broadcast was restarted. We hope to use the record feature to save key milestones such as hatching, feeding and flying so they can be replayed on demand.

Q: The 'total views' number has changed. Why?

A: When the broadcast reboots for any reason the 'total views' resets to 0.  In the last three days 974 unique viewers have logged a combined 344 hours of viewing time on the nest.

Q: Why does the image look black and white at night?

A: The camera is using night vision to film the nest.


Robin Watch Day 4 - Wednesday May 2, 2012

It's Day 4 of our Robin's Nest Watch and the Robin pair minding our nest are very active, chirping aggressively at anyone (or any dog) that came too close to the nest.

We're in for a  few more days of egg watching before the nestlings  are hatched.

Did you know:

-    Robins make a musical whistled phrase, 'cheerily, cheer up, cheer up, cheerily, cheer up'.

-    The males sing in the early morning and late afternoon.


Robin Watch Day 3 - Tuesday May 1, 2012

The female Robin continues to mind the nest and incubate the eggs, leaving occasionally for short periods and shifting positions from time to time: heck, you'd want to get up and stretch once in a while too if you were just sitting around all day.  Some trivia about Robin's nests from

A female Robin builds a nest out of grass and small twigs held together with mud

Robins build their nests in trees, bushes, hedges or on houses. Our nest is on a fence.

The bowl-shaped nest is about 6 inches across

The inside of the nest is about 4 inches in diameter which is big enough to hold a softball

The nest is usually built 5 ft to 25 ft above the ground. Our nest is about 5 ft above the ground.

The nest is usually protected from rain and predators.

Robin Watch Day 2 - Monday April 30, 2012

Over night the camera angle shifted slightly so we were up bright and early repositioning the camera. The Robin minding the nest eyed us suspiciously but stayed put. Hopefully that's the last time we need to go anywhere near the nest. The tell-tale sign that the nest existed was the excess of bird droppings across the backyard patio. It didn't take long for us to find the nest tucked up on the rail of a fence, nestled between the fence and a metal column. The presence of the nest will mean postponing use of the nearby table and cabana until the fledglings have departed.

Robin Watch Day 1 - Sunday April 29, 2012

We discovered the nest with three eggs in it on Saturday April 28. The nest is constructed of dry long grass, twigs and a tell-tale blue string that waves in the wind. The nest is nestled in a 'corner' created by a wooden fence and a metal column.  One of the adult Robins eyed us suspiciously from the nest as we surveyed the area and flew away briefly while we mounted the camera, a Lorex LW2311F,  but quickly returned when we moved out of range.

When we last attempted to monitor a nest the project was ended abruptly when a Grackle raided the nest of newly-hatched nestlings -- we're hoping this year the Robin pair are successful in sending their fledglings safely into the world.

The Robin is a medium-sized bird which weighs, on average 75 g, is 25 or 27 cm long and has a wingspan of around 40cm. They can fly at a speed of 60 km per hour.

The female Robin builds the nest and lays between 3 - 5 small, blue eggs which she incubates for between 11 - 14 days.

It takes the babies two weeks to be fledged and fly from the nest.

Often, once the eggs hatch, the male will take over the duty of caring for the newly hatched chicks, while mother lays another clutch of eggs and begins the whole process again!

Robins are known to fly during the day when they migrate and they feed on worms, insects and berries.

-- source

Live stream by Ustream

Bookmark and Share

(0) Comment

Join The Conversation Sign Up Login


In Your Neighbourhood Today