Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Birds Have Flown the Coop, Final Robin Update

This is a long overdue post about the robins that built a nest right on our living room window. The kids and my husband and I have been watching them over the past few weeks and seeing how the chicks were cared for and how they developed.

In my last post, I showed you the nest filled with four eggs:

I know that I saw at least three chicks being fed by both the mom and dad. Finally, I saw that all four had hatched out.

The parents were always around, coming and going to keep their growing brood fed. They were also very protective. I photographed them quite a bit, and I tried to be as unobtrusive as I could. I didn't want to freak out the parents. But, every once in a while, I was just too close for comfort and the mom or dad would try to dive bomb me. They would fly in my general direction any way with a mean look on their face. I can't blame them.

They also repeatedly chased squirrels out of the yard. Squirrels that, to me with my unaware human eyes, didn't seem to be doing anything egregious.

Here, you can see one of the chick's heads peeping out over the edge of the nest. They're still so little a this point.

They were fed constantly. And, when they weren't being fed, they were being sat on and kept warm.

Somehow, all four birds got fed, even with bigger ones trying to get a bigger share. Egalitarian birds, eh? How humane of them...

No!! Don't go!

Feed me, Seymour!

The birds grew with the constant care from the parents.

Look at the downy feathers on the tops of their heads. They're starting to get pin feathers too.

They're a bit bigger here.

At constant watch.

Hi guys!

There's your dad or mom right above you.

Look how big they are! How can you all squeeze into that nest/mud cup?

Notice the orange on the breast.

A few days after I took that photo, we noticed that one of the chicks was gone. And then another, later on the same day. And, by nightfall they had all left the nest. All that remained was an empty nest with some poop...

I took the nest down...

and threw it into the compost bin.

A nice ending to the beautifully constructed nest the robins lovingly built for their brood.

Good luck, little robins! We're glad we knew you when.


Neo-agrarian said...

You could have left the nest up. Robins can have a few clutches a year. The breeding season is from early April to as late as September

Paige said...

This has been such a wonderful journey! Thank you for the great pictures to help us see the wonder of nature! I bet your kids loved this!

EO and OGamer said...

Thanks for sharing this, Laura. How many days elapsed between the eggs hatching and the birds flying away?

Laura said...

I wondered about that too Neo-agrarian. So I googled it. I saw several sites that said that robins wouldn't reuse their old nest.

I hope I didn't prevent another great nest on our window...

Thanks Paige. It's been fun for all of us.

Hey EO and OGamer! It was a couple of weeks. I should have been more meticulous about noting dates, and will be next time. I was just so enthralled and just spent time enjoying the chicks rather than studying them.

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