A Birds-Eye View

A Birds-Eye View

Ever wonder what a mother robin sees as she looks down into her nest once the eggs have hatched?  The four photos here might provide a glimpse of what awaits Mama and Papa  when they return with snacks for their young.   This pictorial record of baby robins, as they developed over a period of four days this month, was sent to us by club member Marion, who played host to a robin family that nested in a Kiwi vine on her property. The nest was spotted only during the process of pruning back the vine. Needless to say, that work is now on hold until the babies fledge. 
newly hatched baby robins

The first photo shows tiny fragile creatures not long out of their robins-egg blue shells and huddled together for warmth. The robin parents appear to be very tidy nest-keepers (where is the evidence of discarded shells?) 

soft down appers on newly hatched robins

The photo above, taken three days later, shows the babies beginning to develop a soft but sparse downy covering.  The next photo, taken merely one day later, is evidence of the start of a thicker downy coat…

baby robins are growing fast

… and suddenly, four days after the first photo, in an “open wide” posture that any dentist would love,  we see three little beaks thrust up in hopes of receiving a juicy morsel of earthworm or whatever is on the daily menu. 

baby robin beaks open wide

The return of migrating birds each spring gives us a lift and we have been seeing lots of robins, several pairs of osprey and occasional goldfinches in the last few weeks. Some birds, however, have difficulty accommodating to human habitation despite years of traveling back to the same site.  One pair of robins with whom I’m quite familiar has made a standard practice over the past few years of savagely attacking their own reflections in windows of the house where I live.   By repeatedly hurtling their bodies at the glass, they leave an opaque smear on the window, which is disconcerting in itself but even more annoying is the steady thump … thump… thump that accompanies these feats of daring-do, beginning just after dawn and continuing at intervals throughout the day. I believe it is just one pair but the practice has been going on over a long time, so perhaps the trait has been passed to the next generation.  Does the phrase “bird brain” come to mind? Does anyone have a comment as to this behaviour?

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