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Photo Essay: A Young Robin's Adventure


Image Wayne Kryduba

This baby probably got curious because its siblings had already left the nest. It started hopping and landed in the gutter! All nestlings usually leave a nest within 24 hours after the first one leaves. Baby robins fledge when they are between 9 and 16 days old.

 

Image Wayne Kryduba

Oops! This baby may not have left on purpose. It looks like he started sliding and headed down backwards. Baby birds have a natural instinct to flap their wings when they feel air rushing past them. How does that behavior help them survive?

 
Monarch butterflies at overnight roost.
Image Wayne Kryduba

If a baby falls out of a nest—or a roof gutterthe flapping instinct helps it stay upright and land softer. Some baby birds don't leave the nest until their wings are strong enough to fly to a new place. But baby robins leave long before they can fly well!

 

Image Wayne Kryduba

The baby's spots look like the grass tips, helping it hide in the grass. We can't see the robin dad, but he is probably nearby. Dad's job is to keep track of the baby birds now as they explore their world. Mother Robin will prepare the nest and lay eggs for another batch of babies.

 


Image Wayne Kryduba

This baby will spend 10 to 15 days hiding and staying close to dad before it becomes independent. It needs time to gain the skill and strength to fly away from danger or back up to the nest. It seems to be crouching. What will it do next?

 


Image Wayne Kryduba
The fledgling takes a jump and flaps its wings, but isn't quite flying. The baby is building leg and wing strength. It takes time to build the skills to fly, just as it took you time to learn to walk! Babies can take short flights a few days after leaving the nest.
As their flying improves, dad leads them at night to a roost with other dads and babies. This teaches them flocking behavior and helps them join their first flock. They will watch and learn from other robins. This baby's adventure is just beginning!

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