A robin made a nest in the window box right outside my office. I immediately trained a camera on it and watched as nature instinctively played out.
I finally have my window box back after weeks of squatting by a pair of neighbourhood robins. The mother had a fluffy, squishy bum, perfect for forming a nest. I got to sit and watch exactly how a robin builds one of those perfect nests. It's all in the bum and she works it. Mama Robins are the J Lo's of the bird world. It's amazing.
The father is always around too. He's either helping to find nest materials, guarding the nest or finding food for the babies. He is 100% involved.
Since I had such an up close and personal view of this nest for so long I made a point to stop doing everything else in my life including, but not limited to showering, eating, working, watching television, gardening and communicating with friends and family. All of the time I would have put into these activities was put into watching the life of a robin.
And documenting it.
And telling people about it.
I learned a lot about robins during this episode. Here are a few of the facts.
All About Robins
- The nest is primarily built by the female robin.
- A robin lays 4 eggs, one each day for 4 days. (Occasionally there will be 3 or 5)
- She doesn't start to sit on the eggs right away because she won't be ready to incubate them until 2 or 3 of them are laid. This way the eggs hatch at close to the same time.
- Robins eggs hatch after 14 days of incubation.
- The nest may look like it has been abandoned, but if the female has gone to eat, leaving the nest alone, the male is somewhere watching over the nest for predators. Often he'll fly over and stand right by the nest to protect it.
- The hatchlings know to pop their heads up and open their mouths as soon as they feel a light bump on the side of their nest. They know it's their mama landing there with food.
- The baby birds spend another 9 - 16 days before they leave the nest.
When they hatch out of their shells, baby robins are helpless, blind and featherless.
Within a couple of hours the mother is already bringing it worms to eat.
You can see, she's landed on the nest, they've felt the bump, and almost all of them popped their heads up for food.
They are beautiful. Provided you think old bald men with massive eyebrows are beautiful.
Day by day you can see different parts of the birds develop. Downy feathers come quickly, nostrils open up, that trademark yellow beak starts to form and ears get bigger and better at hearing. You can see the ear in the picture below, just behind the big googly eye.
Better than the photos, I got it all on video. (If you have an adblocker running on your computer you will not be able to see watch video below)
I left the nest in my window box for 2 weeks in case they wanted to "try again". But they never came back. So I bagged the nest for my collection and cleared out the window box. It's currently filled with a riot of red geraniums, parsley, lavender and Ivy Geraniums.
Yet it still isn't as pretty as it was last week.
Have a good weekend!
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