What Are the Nesting Habits of Robins?

American robins typically place nests on horizontal branches in the lower halves of trees. Robins build nests using twigs, grass and mud; the female of the mating pair chooses the location and builds the nest.

Most robin nests rest on branches beneath an obscuring leaf layer. While nests are typically low in the tree or shrub, they may be as high as a treetop or even placed in gutters and other architectural features of man-made structures. Nest placement also depends upon geographic location. In northern North America, robins use structures and cliffs more frequently while robins on the prairie place nests on the ground.

Robins build nests from the inside, shaping as they go using their wings. The initial cup consists of grass and twigs, and the bird later strengthens the nest using soft mud from earthworm castings. Robins line their nests with soft materials such as dry grass, moss and feathers.

The American robin lays between three and five pale-blue eggs upon completion of the nest. The female incubates her eggs for approximately two weeks. Hatchling robins are altricial, or helpless, and the young leave the nest in 14 to 16 days. American robins produce up to three broods each year. Once the young have fledged, the male often becomes their primary caretaker while the female prepares for a second nesting attempt.