Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mr. Robin

Today, we'd like to recognize to the unsung hero of our young robin family: Mr. Robin. Although Mrs. Robin is the star of our blog, we would be remiss if we failed to mention the important role played by Mr. Robin.

Mr. Robin has not yet made any appearances on the Robincam (as far as we know), but he's been a constant fixture in our front yard lately. He keeps a close eye on Mrs. Robin, and he gives us dirty looks -- and sometimes squawks at us -- if he feels that we're getting too close to the nest. On a few occasions, we've even seen Mr. Robin chasing other birds away from the nest. When Mrs. Robin leaves the nest for meals, we often see the two of them hopping across the yard together. They look like a very happy couple.

Although Mrs. Robin is responsible for incubating the eggs, she and Mr. Robin will share in the parenting duties once the babies hatch. According to, the male and female robins share responsibility for feeding and protecting their young. Given the importance of the father's role, we are very glad that Mrs. Robin has found such a devoted and attentive mate. We think he will make an excellent father.

With Mrs. Robin's first clutch, the father didn't seem to be nearly as attentive to his family. He dropped by the nest a few times, but he didn't seem to be particularly vigilant about keeping watch over Mrs. Robin and her nest. This has led us to speculate that Mrs. Robin may have found a new father for her latest clutch. After doing a little research on the mating habits of robins, I learned that a pair of robins will typically remain together for the entire breeding season. However, the female may seek out a new mate if something happens to her first mate. So, it's hard to say for sure whether this is the same male that fathered the first clutch. If it is the same father, he seems to be taking his responsibilities much more seriously this time around. Either way, we're delighted that our young robins will be raised in a stable family with an involved father.

Now that we've properly recognized Mr. Robin, here's a clip of Mrs. Robin turning her eggs. She performs this ritual several times each day, in order to keep the eggs at a uniform temperature and prevent the babies from sticking to the inside of the shells. Enjoy!

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