Robins Raise a Family

I had three pairs of robins make nests in various places on my house this spring. Two of them were tucked into nooks on my front porch. It was a bit of a problem, since the robins were understandably distressed when I sat on my porch. I know it’s silly, but I modified my behavior and didn’t spend as much time on the porch as I would have.

One day I figured I’d sit out under my back roof overhang. I was surprised when a robin was upset by that, too, until I discovered the third nest – made right on top of a rickety old ladder leaning up against the house. That blocked me sitting there, too.

Robin's egg after the babies hatched
Robin's egg after the babies hatched
I missed the photo opp of the eggs in the nest, but did manage to capture several other developmental stages. Enjoy!
The babies have hatched - 5/27
The babies have hatched - 5/27

Robin babies, just 6 days after hatching
Robin babies, just 6 days after hatching

The babies are always hungry!
The babies are always hungry!

Mom & Pop Robin were unceasing in their efforts to keep the hungry brood fed. That’s why I couldn’t stand to disrupt their efforts with my lounging back there. What impact would that have on the babies?

Robins ready to go
Robins ready to go

The very next day, June 6, the babies left the nest. One flew into my old cattle watering trough, set up to catch rainwater that drips off my roof. Fortunately there was less than an inch of water in it at that point. But rain was expected that evening. What to do, what to do?

I decided to get my old outdoor broom and see if I couldn’t get the baby up on the bristles and lift him out. It really wasn’t too difficult, and he didn’t seem at all frightened. I carried him on the broom and set him back on the nest. Everyone else had already left, and he looked at me like, “Hey, I shouldn’t be here – I have to leave!” I just walked away and left him to his own devices. I haven’t seen any of the babies since.

Leave me a comment – see anybody raising young in YOUR neighborhood?

by Peg Cherre, Executive Director

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