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A Robin Story

The American Robin is perhaps one of the best known and widespread of North American Birds.  Robins normally nest in trees, but it is not unusual for them to nest around fences and buildings, and they will also use a nesting shelf.  Robins eat large quantities of fruit, about 60 per cent of their diet, as well as insects and earthworms.  This particular female Robin, has built her nest in the window of my garage, very close to the ground and within range of my camera.  Follow along as I chart her progress.
May 13, 2004 Robin's Nest discovered in window of garage, very low to the ground, less than 3 feet above ground..  It is not uncommon for Robins to build their nests in windowsills.  Firm support and shelter from the wind are enticements for the Robin to build here.  
May 14, 2004 Female Robin  continues to work on nest, alternating with sticks, grass and mud.  The female uses her bill and feet to weave the nest from coarse grasses, sticks, stems, and string.  She then uses her body to compress the mud, smoothing and shaping it with her breast.  The male Robin helps very little if at all with the nest building.   
May 15, 2004 The female Robin continues to work on her nest, and the male Robin  remains invisible.   
May 16, 2004 The female Robin  returns to the nest often, making adjustments.  
May 17, 2004 The female Robin  did not return to the nest today.  The nest appears to be complete..  
May 18, 2004 One blue egg appeared in the nest today.  The female Robin  leaves the nest often but quickly returns.  Robin's lay only one egg a day until their clutch is complete.  Incubation is from 12 to 14 days, and begins only after all the eggs are laid.  .  
May 19, 2004 Now there are two blue eggs in the nest.   
May 20, 2004 Three blue eggs are now in the nest.  The last just a bit smaller than the first two.  The mother appears to be in charge, and the male so far is still invisible.  The female Robin does most, if not all, the incubation of the eggs.   
May 27, 2004 First photo of this American Robin  nest is taken while mother is away.  Robin's Egg Blue at its best.  Robin clutches can be from three to five eggs.  This one has three.  The female will remove the eggshells from the nest, as well as the chicks droppings.   

June 1, 2004 The first American Robin chick is here.  I don't want to make "Mom" nervous.  Just a quick shot while she was gone.  Still haven't seen "Dad" yet.  Oops!  Upon close examination of this picture, there appears to be two babies in this nest.  What do you think?

June 2, 2004 Last and final American Robin chick has hatched.  It is a cool day, and they appear to be huddled together.  I am still looking for "Dad".  I am concerned that "Mom" will have her hands full without him.

  While these American Robin  Babies look like aliens, as you can see, the eyes and beaks are way out of proportion compared to the rest of their bodies.

  The slightest noise brings these chicks to attention, in anticipation of food I think.

  The mother Robin leaves the nest to hunt for food.  When she returns, she first appears to eat the insect, then in a few minutes, feeds the anxious chicks.

June 3, 2004 A little chilly today, Mom is on the nest.  Can't believe she let me close enough to snap her photo, here she is.

June 6, 2004 The chicks are getting their feathers, as is evident by the pin feathers that are clearly visible.  Only two chicks in the nest on this day.  The fate of the other is unknown.

June 9, 2004 Lots of activity in the nest today, including vocals.  The chicks have their eyes fully open, adding to the appeal. 

June 12, 2004 Mom has taught these chicks well.  When I approach the nest, the chicks scoot down in the nest as far as they can, and they become very quiet.

June 12, 2004 A different angle makes a better picture.  The chicks are feathering out nicely, and they will be fledglings soon.

June 13, 2004 I was surprised when I checked the nest today.  This little guy was primed and ready to fly.  Just after I snapped this picture, off he went. 

June 13, 2004 This is the chick that chose not to fly today.  Probably is not ready to go yet.