Tuesday, July 6, 2010

American Robins fledge from nest in Presque Isle

After one of the best nesting seasons in several years, fledgling birds are leaving nests across northern Maine.

Paul Cyr kept a close eye on the progress of the American Robin nest in his shop this summer. He sent over this fantastic photo series showing the rapid development of the hatchlings into fledglings... After two weeks of incubation by the female, the eggs begin to hatch.
And they're hungry.

By day three there are five nestlings. Their eyes are closed and have only a few wisps of natal down on them.

On day six the eyes are still closed but the feather tracts on their head wings and back are starting to develop.

Day nine shows eyes are opening and strong feather growth on all but the runt of the brood. The less developed chick is forced out of the nest bowl by its more fully developed nestmates.

On the eleventh day there were only four nestlings.... eyes are fully open and juvenal plumage is has covered the young birds.

By day twelve the youngsters have grown so big they crowded yet another nestling out of the nest. The fledging begins...

On the morning of the fourth Paul reported the nest was empty and the four fledglings were ungainly making their way around his yard. Both parents will continue to feed these for a couple weeks and then they'll be on their own. The parents will have plenty of time to start the process again.

1 comment:

Hilke Breder said...

Great series! I watched a robin's nest in our yard, but just a side view, not from above. So it's instructive to see how they develop. I believe we started with 4 birds but at the end there were only 3.