Birdwatching Canada

A voice for the northern birds

Baby Robins Dropping Down

It’s late spring in North America, and across the continent baby or fledgling robins are dropping out of their nests. This seems a strange way to propogate the species, but for generations adult robins have been giving fledglings a boot. They can fly a few feet, but spend most of their time on the ground.

People are always concerned that this baby bird has fallen out of its nest and needs help. The truth is he was pushed out of the nest to get on with the business of growing up. DO NOT PICK THEM UP. Don’t take them to a zoo or wildlife rehab centre.

Baby or fledgling robin

Baby or fledgling robin

It may seem cruel to us, but this is the way robins conduct their family life, and judging by the number of robins in the country, it works. The best thing for you to do is keep dogs and cats away while the youngster gets his bearings. He’ll move along in a little while.

Baby robins look something like their parents, but have speckled chests, and fluffy down feathers poking out here and there. Yes he looks helpless, but they manage to survive in huge numbers.

Just think of them as the true image of spring, and keep the dogs and cats away. Use their presence in your yard as an opportunity for a nature talk to the kids, which will be a lot more help to the birds!


Filed under: Songbirds, , ,

3 Responses

  1. Michele says:

    We have a nest outside our house and 13 days went by and all have have left I heard them churping for mom and dad the first day but have not heard any since I hope that doesn’t mean that they all starved because I will feel horrible How long does mom take care of fledglings and if she doesn’t feed them do they know enough to feed themselves? Does mom usually find them?

    • wildtracks says:

      The fact that the chirping noises stopped just means the babies left the nest. Once they’re on the ground, they don’t want to alert predators to their position, so remain silent. Mom will feed the fledglings until they are able to fly and feed for themselves. And she seems to find them where ever they go!

  2. SarahH says:

    I Just saw one of these little guys outside, and wasn’t sure what sort of bird it was, figured it was a young robin. I didn’t know if it was helpless or not, so thanks for the helpful information, now I don’t have to worry, because I know his mom is still looking after him.

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