Robin Journal, Pt. 5

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Day 25  (babies 10 days old)

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I took some photos yesterday, but from now on I am going to have to be very careful about disturbing the nest. The babies are getting close enough to fledging (leaving the nest) that they might hop out prematurely if I startle them. So, not many more shots from my step-stool! Notice in the photo below that they are growing beautiful flight feathers.

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Here is Mama, shoving food in those beaks as fast as she can!

Day 27 (babies 12 days old)

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I just tiptoed out to spy on the babies (yes, they're still here). They are huge! As big as the grownups, really. In fact, they are so big that not all of them fit in the nest anymore, and one of them is nestled among the plants.  Instead of just lying there like dead things, they peeped at me boldly, as if to say, "This is OUR nest.  Who are YOU?" According to my research, most baby robins fledge by day 13, so these fellows are ready to launch. They spend a lot of the day grooming their new feathers. I noticed one pecking at the petunia stems yesterday, perhaps practicing for future worm-hunting expeditions. I 've also noticed that the parents aren't visiting quite so much. Maybe hunger is an incentive to leave the nest? Here is my last shot of them from close up.

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And here's a photo I got of their heads popping up, taken from inside the house.

Later the same day . . . fledging!!!

Oh my gosh, such excitement! A friend came to visit today, and as she walked toward the front door (and passed within two feet of the hanging basket), the fledglings burst out of the nest and went hopping off with their parents!! I completely ignored my friend (she understood) and took pictures. This is the best one--the fledgling is on the left. They can't fly and have hardly any tail, but they sure can hop! I have read that from now on, the Papa Robin takes care of them until they can fend for themselves, and the Mama builds another nest (whew!  All this all over again!).

I thought this would be my last posting, but there was more to come. . .

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