Archive for June, 2009

12 Jun 2009

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Family

Robins on the Deck

After a break of a few years since the last time we had robin’s nesting on our back deck, they’ve returned this spring. The nest is in the same spot as the last time, nestled up in a corner on top of one of the large posts that supports the over-hanging roof. We noticed one of the robins checking the spot out just after the Victoria Day weekend. After a day or two of monkeying about with a few bits of dried grass, the robins got busy and the fully built nest just appeared one morning.

The robins came and went for a few days until Momma laid some eggs and now she stays pretty much on the nest full time. Occasionally, she will disappear for a few moments, but I’ve not been quick enough to notice and drag a stool out onto the deck for a quick peek to see how many eggs are in the nest. Poppa robin comes around with a double-double and a breakfast sandwich (or the bird equivalent – a beak full of bugs) every now and then, interspersed with sitting on our back fence singing to the neighbourhood.

Update – 14 June: Saturday morning we had brunch out on the deck and as we cleared the table, Brenda noticed that Momma robin had gone for a “comfort break”.  I grabbed the camera and the step stool and took a couple of quick snaps, then scurried away before I got caught.  There are 3 eggs in the nest – according to Wikipedia the eggs are incubated for 14 days by the female, so the chicks should hatch this week sometime.

Update – 5 July: Well, after much delay, induced by the busy schedule that typifies the last weeks of June, here’s a little update about what’s happened with our nesting robins.  Shortly after I posted the update on the 14th, the first of the chicks hatched, by the end of the day they were all out of their shells and peeping for food!  Over the next week, we watched as the chicks grew bigger very quickly, keeping both parent birds very busy bringing an unending supply of bugs.  The parents were very tolerant of us being on the deck, keeping an eye on us but not getting bent out of shape for the most part.  The one exception was on the day of Steven’s birthday party when we had a dozen boys running around having water fights and tossing water balloons off the deck!

The chicks grew very quickly and after 8 or 9 days were starting to be quite crowded in the nest – it was at that point that we realized there were 4 chicks.  Apparently one of the eggs had been tucked tight to the front of the nest were we couldn’t see it.  While the chicks were small, it was hard to figure out how many there were from the tangle of bare bums and fuzzy noggins.  By the 28th there was a lot of pushing and shoving in the nest as the chicks jostled for space and attempted to stretch their little wings.  As we ate supper that evening we kept a close eye on the nest and, sure enough, 3 of the 4 chicks took wing while we watched (the fourth went later that evening at some point).  The little fledglings were quite funny as their first flights were pretty unsteady and landings uncertain.  Apparently depth perception takes time to develop too!

For the last week, the fledglings have been sheltering in the poplars in our yard and we often see one or two of them chasing bugs around the yard or pestering their parents for handouts.   It’s been quite the neat experience to see over the month of June!

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