Robin Journal, Pt. 3

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Day 17

The fourth egg has hatched! Can you see four little bowling-ball heads with huge purple closed eyes? I must say, though, that these little guys are looking more birdlike than two days ago.  The alpha-chick on top is positively hairy. Thank goodness the temperature has cooled down (we had a tremendous rainstorm) so Momma won't get overheated any more.

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I found out that robins thrive in yards that are free of weedkillers and pesticides, since they eat worms that live in the soil and could ingest those chemicals. This makes me doubly glad we treat our lawn organically. Dandelions are really very pretty, don't you think?

Later the same day . . . finally caught one of them bathing! It wasn't the usual extravaganza of dunking and splashing, just a quick in-and-out.  Too much work to be done--like catching grasshoppers to feed to the young 'uns.

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Day 19 

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It is astounding to me how much these chicks have changed in merely four days. Look at those beaks! And those baby wing-feathers! And those hefty bodies, compared with their first worm-like pictures! Their skin has darkened quite a bit, also. According to a book I got from the library (The American Robin, by Roland H. Wauer), the chicks have been fed regurgitated food these first few days, and will be getting the real stuff from now on--worms, grasshoppers, beetles, ants, spiders, caterpillars, etc.  Yum!

Mama and Papa have been kept very busy providing all this food.  The above photos were taken in a rare moment when I could see both of them foraging. Yesterday, I was reading the paper and I heard a series of steady, plaintive calls. I went to investigate, and Mama (Papa? I have trouble telling them apart--both have brilliant red breasts) was sitting on the nest, calling at regular intervals.  Was she calling her mate? "A little help here!" Or was she getting her babies used to her voice? I don't know.

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