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Old Saturday 6th March 2010, 17:12   #1
Hobbes2
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Time between mating and laying (Robins)

Apologies if this question has been asked/answered before. I've search the net but cannot find an answer....

I witnessed a pair of Robins mating this afternoon (they're nesting in a tree at the bottom of my garden). I was wondering how long is the time between mating and laying, please? From info on the net, I understand that incubation is between 12-14 days, is that correct?

Many thanks
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Old Saturday 6th March 2010, 17:36   #2
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I may be off the mark, but for a "typical" small songbird it is few days. Between male starts mounting a female, and female lays first egg.
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Old Saturday 6th March 2010, 19:37   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jurek View Post
I may be off the mark, but for a "typical" small songbird it is few days. Between male starts mounting a female, and female lays first egg.
Thanks Jurek. So, hopefully, before the end of March, I should see some fledglings developing in the nest.
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Old Saturday 6th March 2010, 20:16   #4
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This is highly variable - birds mate often long before any egg-laying is their intention - as a pair-bonding thing (like humans!).

In some birds mating goes on for weeks before egg-laying, in others mating only takes place to fertilise an egg.

An egg already fully-formed, except for the shell, can be fertilised just hours before laying - the shell is formed up to the last few minutes before laying (presumably the smaller the bird, the quicker this process is) - and then becomes impervious to sperm.

A better way of knowing when egg-laying is complete is when incubation begins - usually when most or all the clutch is finished.
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Old Saturday 6th March 2010, 21:24   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halftwo View Post
This is highly variable - birds mate often long before any egg-laying is their intention - as a pair-bonding thing (like humans!).

In some birds mating goes on for weeks before egg-laying, in others mating only takes place to fertilise an egg.

An egg already fully-formed, except for the shell, can be fertilised just hours before laying - the shell is formed up to the last few minutes before laying (presumably the smaller the bird, the quicker this process is) - and then becomes impervious to sperm.

A better way of knowing when egg-laying is complete is when incubation begins - usually when most or all the clutch is finished.
Thanks for the clarification halftwo. Interesting stuff. I wasn't sure whether Robins were one of those species that mate only to fertilise an egg or as part of the courtship as well as fertilisation. I guess it's the latter.
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