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Two Robins Nesting

What Did You Notice?

Here's one thing we noticed:
  • Both nests are in trees, but they are very different types of trees. The tree on the left is a leafy tree; the tree on the right is an evergreen tree.

  • We think the mother robin chose the spot on the right for an early spring nest and the spot on the left for a second and third nest. Here's why:

    Robins want safe places to build their nests. A robin usually builds its first nest of the season before leaves come out. Mom knows it's best to build that nest in an evergreen tree (or under an overhang) so the babies have shelter. Once other trees get their leaves (like the tree on the left), they can provide shelter.

    What do robins need shelter from? The eggs and nestlings need shelter from rain, late snow, wind, and sun. (Baby birds are in big danger of sunburn before their feathers grow in.) Predators might take the eggs or the babies.

    Leaves offer shelter and shade, and help hide the nest from predators.

    But robins also know that babies need some sunlight for vitamin D to keep them healthy. So they build the nests where the babies will get just enough sun— not too much and not too little!