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Word of the Week: Brood
April 23, 2021 by Haya Aldoori

Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each Friday to amp up your nature vocabulary!

American Robin photo by Andrew Yee

Brood [BROOD] (noun): a family of young animals, especially a bird, produced at one hatching or birth.

American Robins are familiar to many of us in the city and are often thought of as the harbinger of spring. Once the ground begins to thaw from the spring sun, we are quick to see them looking for wiggly earthworms to eat. This time of year is also the start of their breeding season so their feathers seem extra colorful and the joyful “cheer-up, cheerily, cheer-up, cheerily” call can be easily heard.

The typical breeding season for these beloved birds is from April to July and they can have up to three successful broods in one year. In each brood, American Robins can produce a clutch of 3-4 eggs, which they will incubate for about 12 days in the nest.

Their bowl-shaped nests are made of twigs, mud, and lined with dry grass. The robin nest may also have lichens and moss collected from trees. In some cases, you’ll notice a robin nest with string or ribbon used as material. This is more commonly observed in urban areas.

Keep an eye out for American Robin nests and their young around your neighbourhood and in High Park this season!

To learn more about birds with the High Park Nature Centre, check out our “Birds of the City” Online Naturalist Course for adults!

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