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Avian Parents Hard At Work

robin with food 077To appreciate the parental demands on birds, consider the feeding habits of a pair of American Robins with a nest full of young. Both parents feed their 3 – 4 nestlings, delivering 6 – 7 feedings an hour, each one to a single nestling. (Parents tend to arrive with food at a particular location on the nest rim, so there is much jockeying for a position near this spot on the part of the nestlings.) Each nestling gets 35-40 feedings per day. This amounts to almost half a pound of food delivered to the nest every day for the 13 days that young are in the nest. Even then, the parents’ work is not done, as they continue to feed their fledglings for up to three weeks after the young leave the nest.

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6 responses

  1. Ruth Sylvester

    Tired yet? And this is even before soccer practice!

    May 22, 2014 at 11:59 am

  2. Gwyn Loud

    I love your post today about the hard work birds do to feed their young. How about doing one on the equivalent of diaper changing, i.e. removing
    fecal matter from the nest? Interesting about the jockeying for position to be close to where the parents land on the nest rim- I hadn’t thought about that.



    May 22, 2014 at 12:15 pm

  3. Sarah Gilson

    WOW! busy parents

    May 22, 2014 at 12:27 pm

  4. Robins work very hard for their young. And the baby birds probably don’t clean their room either.

    May 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm

  5. It is an amazing marathon in such a few short weeks!

    May 27, 2014 at 9:32 pm

    • The perfect word for it! Makes me dizzy there’s so much to take in!

      May 27, 2014 at 10:25 pm

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