An American Robin Under The Porch

A pair of American Robin (Turdus migratorius) has built its nest under my neighbour’s porch. It wasn’t high and I can get a good leveled view if I climb up on a ladder. So that created the perfect opportunity for me to take some good photos of the nesting bird. American Robin is probably the earliest bird to lay eggs. Due to the weather, I didn’t have a chance to take photo when the bird just hatched. But now that the week worth of raining weather is over, I can take some photo of the now much bigger juveniles.

So here’s the nest, I can see four beaks there.


Yep, indeed, there are four little ones in there. American Robin usually will lay 3-5 eggs. And so 4 little birds here is exactly what you would expect.

Since American Robin male and female looked pretty much the same, female suppose to be a bit paler and duller than the male, it took a lot of time until I was able to identify the mother and father of those four little birds. Good thing I took a lot of photos of the adult bird too while the two are flying around. This one I think is the male, he likes to defend the nest more. And sees me as an enemy even though I’m a good distance away from the nest. He will fly around, perch on high places and make warning calls if I just stand on the ladder. So I later covered my head and upper body with something. This way the bird finally calmed down and went on about their business.

This one is female. The head is a bit brown and colour is a bit paler compared to the male. And from what I can observe, brings food to the chicks a lot more than the male. She’s either less alert than the male or she’s more worried about her chicks. She will fly to the nest and feed the young no matter what I do on the ladder.

Another shot of the female bringing back a mouthful of worms.

The little chicks knows when their parent is close by and will all get up and get ready to fight for the food. They will also sometimes call out to their parent as if they are getting impatient or really hungry.

Of course their action becomes fanatic when their parent actually lands on the nest. Now everyone is out, their mouth wide open, fighting for the food. This time the female is back with some worms in her mouth.

The male also come back to the nest. But not always with food. I guess he is probably back just to check if all the chicks are alright. And maybe just to making sure that I have no bad intentions.

And some times, the male comes back to do some house cleaning. See the photo below, the male is cleaning out the bird poop from the chicks. He will gather those using his beak and take it far away from the nesting area. That’s how they share their duties for raising the young. Male defends the nest and cleans up the house more while female concentrates on bringing food to feed all the needy mouths.

For all the time I’ve been there, I’ve only seen the male brought back food once. Here’s the male feeding one of the chicks.

Another shot of the juveniles exited to welcome their parent home.

And this time it is the female again, bringing back yet another juicy earthworm.

And yet here’s the female again, bring back more big juicy earthworm for the chicks. American Robin’s diet should have consists of worms, grasshoppers, and berries. But for the time I was there, earthworm is the only thing I see them catching and bringing back. I guess in the urban area, earthworm is more readily available from all the backyard gardens than grasshoppers and/or berries.

Let’s see who got the meal this time? Okay the one at the back.

All done, and now mommy is ready to fly away and find more for her chicks.




1 comment to An American Robin Under The Porch

  • Joyce

    I wanted to compliment and thank you for the beautiful shots on the robin family. Fantastic photos you have.