Friday, June 11, 2010

Speaking of Birds

A pair of robins built their nest in the grape arbor, amongst the twigs I thought were dead but hadn't ripped out yet. The nest is not much more than six feet off the ground, easily reachable by the black and white cat that roams the neighborhood. The nest is also less than six feet from our front door.

The mother robin is very trusting. If I open the door gently and talk to her first, she'll let me walk past. She does keep her eye on me though.

The male is less friendly. He guards the nest from a nearby tree when the female is away, but he abandons his vigil when I come near. This morning one of the birds brought a worm for the first born, then perched on the side of the nest and peered at the squirming creature as though wondering who was the real father of this ugly thing.

This picture shows the nest in the arbor clear over at the left just above the yellow cap on the finch feeder, nearly hidden by grape leaves from my "dead" vine. The robin, probably the male, is in the tree. I was standing not far from my front door when I took this picture.

Originally there were four eggs in the nest, but one ended up smashed on the sidewalk. We're not sure what happened. Could have been the wind, I suppose. Or that cat. Hubby pulled the ladder out of the garage and checked on the eggs a couple of times after that happened.

We think the first born must have hatched last Sunday morning. Bill brought out the ladder again and peeked into the nest, and then he took this picture for me. There should be two newborns in that squirming mess because there were three eggs left the last time he checked.

I just looked up the Wild Birds Unlimited info on robins and found the babies should be fully-feathered in ten days and should leave the nest in 14-16 days. I hope the wandering cat stays away, but I fear for the chicks when they start making noise.

Did you know that robins can eat up to 14 feet of earthworms in a day? Pretty darned impressive, in my humble opinion. I couldn't even eat 14 feet of chocolate earthworms in a day, and I'm lots bigger than a robin.

13 comments:

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I am an avid wildlife lover and enjoyed your post and pics! I had a nest of bluebirds in my carport and it was fun watching them build their nest and had two families that spring.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I love post about wildlife and this one is no exception, The pictures too were wonderful,

Have a lovely day.
Yvonne.

Karen Walker said...

Me too,wildlife lover, that is. A close friend has a nest of screech owls in her backyard. Nature is awesome. Thanks for sharing the pics, Patricia. Lovely.
Karen

Ann Best said...

Beautiful. Reminds me of maybe ten years ago when a mother bird (maybe a swallow; can't remember) made a nest under the light in the carport where we were renting. It was exciting to see the babies begin to poke their heads over the nest. Wish I still had the pictures; don't know what happened to them in all my moves. Your pics here are awesome. Really enjoyed this post. I'll be back to check out the links.

Clarissa Draper said...

Awww, that is so cute. I love the pictures. It's nice to have neighbours like that.

CD

Stephen Tremp said...

I grew up in Michigan and the Robin is the state bird. Very cool the mother is so trusting of you. 14 feet of earthworms a day? Ewwww!

Stephen Tremp

Kay said...

We've had trusting robins nesting in our cherry tree, but the old man kept wandering around in the garden. They now nest in the next door trees.

Sheila Deeth said...

Wow! Cool pictures and cool facts. I've seen some lovely birds in our yard. I should really learn more about them.

Linda L. Henk said...

We have a family of robins nesting in a neighbor's tree. Mom and Pop frequent our nightcrawler-filled yard and dine morning, noon and night. Then they bathe in our bird bath, flipping water all over. I've enjoyed watching the robins fold up a six-inch nightcrawler into a wad and fly off to high-pitched cheeper in their nest. Good pictures!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I sure hope those little guys make it.

Watery Tart said...

How fun! I love the spring animal babies close to home--last year I accidentally uncovered a bunny nest, then had to do a bunch of reinforcement, as I'd cleared away the plants that had hidden it and kept the mud out--the mama bunny didn't seem to mind at all--cotton and straw suddenly appearing around her babies... no problem. It was very fun,--enjoy the babies!

Jan Morrison said...

I love this Patricia! We have lots of robins around and though they are normal as mud - they are my fave - the first of the year and always so darned cheerful.

catwoods said...

I love your arbor, Patricia. It looks so homey and cozy. Like you could curl up and settle in for the day.

No wonder they built a nest there.