Robin Journal, Pt. 2


Day 5

Hold the phone . . . after I posted yesterday, the robin returned to her nest. I peeked in later that afternoon and there was THE FOURTH EGG! Great excitement. There goes my theory that eggs are formed overnight and laid in the morning. Actually, I did learn a little more about robins, thanks to my local library. They are members of the thrush family, which means they're related to bluebirds. I also learned that we're going to have to wait TWO WEEKS before seeing baby robins. So, the next two weeks will be kind of slow in the nest department. I'll try to get some shots of Mama (and Papa) Robin during that time.

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Day 11

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Came back from a brief holiday to find Mama Robin is still steadfastly sitting on her eggs, showing me her tail. That's her favorite position, I think because she's facing out, peering into the yard for possible danger. I am having trouble photographing her off the nest, because she flies up into one of our maple trees, hidden from view. My goal is to catch her splashing in the birdbath!

Day 14

Photo of birdbath. Note that there are no robins visible.  Mama Robin hardly moves from her perch. I think she did all her bathing before she started nesting! By the way, the white domed object in the birdbath is a "water wiggler." It makes tiny waves in the water so that mosquitoes can't breed. One cool thing I've noticed, but have been unable to photograph because it is too dark: at about dusk, the Papa Robin flies to the nest and stands on the edge, near his mate. I suspect that he's bringing her food--and perhaps also wants to clap eyes on those eggs and make sure they're OK?


By my calculations, we should be seeing baby robins in the next few days--!

Day 15

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THE BABIES HAVE HATCHED!!! Most of them, anyway. I noticed Momma standing over the nest instead of sitting on it, so as soon as she left, I investigated. At that point (top photo) two of the babies were fully hatched, and a third was wiggling out of its shell (topmost baby in photo). A little while later, he'd come completely out and the mother/father had removed the shell. It appears one egg is still unhatched--maybe tomorrow? Papa Robin has been helping out--I saw both at the nest together, gazing adoringly--and maybe a little nervously--upon their hatching chicks.  

Baby robins are altricial, which means they are hatched with eyes closed, with little or no down, incapable of flying, and dependent on their parents for food (can you tell?). It'll be another two weeks before these chicks are ready to hit the lawn. Other birds (like many ducks) are precocial, which means they are hatched with eyes open, covered with down, and leave the nest within two days. But not robins or other songbirds.

It's very hot here--94 degrees. I actually saw the Mama Robin panting earlier. Yes, birds pant, like dogs! I looked it up!

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