Just because it is awesome

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 05/07/2008 - 20:25.

My parents noticed a robin's nest in an aged Taxus tree on their back patio, low enough to nearly be in reach, and in good sight from a window up above. The other day, we saw robin's egg blue in the nest... today, there are three altricial chicks, which we watched their early-bird parents feed worms.

According to Wikipedia, "The American Robin begins to breed shortly after returning to its summer range. It is one of the first North American bird species to lay eggs". "A clutch consists of three to five light blue eggs, and is incubated by the female alone. The eggs hatch after 14 days and chicks leave the nest a further two weeks later. All chicks in the brood leave the nest within two days of each other. The altricial chicks are naked and have their eyes closed for the first few days after hatching. While the chicks are still young, the mother broods them continuously. When they are older, the mother will brood them only at night or during bad weather. Juveniles become capable of sustained flight two weeks after fledging."

American Robin's Nest

Being a rare opportunity to watch baby birds develop, first hand, I took these shots and will share more until they leave the nest. Here's wishing them good luck - it'll be cold the next few nights, but mom is nice and fat, to keep them warm, and it's one beautiful nest...

I think the details on Wikipedia are very cool..

Breeding

The nest is about 13 cm (5 in) across

The nest is about 13 cm (5 in) across

The American Robin begins to breed shortly after returning to its summer range. It is one of the first North American bird species to lay eggs, and normally has two to three broods per breeding season, which lasts from April to July.[10]

The nest is most commonly located 1.5–4.5 meters (5–15 ft) above the ground in a dense bush or in a fork between two tree branches, and is built by the female alone. The outer foundation consists of long coarse grass, twigs, paper, and feathers. This is lined with smeared mud and cushioned with fine grass or other soft materials. A new nest is built for each brood, and in northern areas the first clutch is usually placed in an evergreen tree or shrub while later broods are placed in deciduous trees.[10] The American Robin does not shy away from nesting close to human habitation.[20]

Newly hatched chicks

Newly hatched chicks

A clutch consists of three to five light blue eggs, and is incubated by the female alone. The eggs hatch after 14 days and chicks leave the nest a further two weeks later. All chicks in the brood leave the nest within two days of each other.[10] The altricial chicks are naked and have their eyes closed for the first few days after hatching.[21] While the chicks are still young, the mother broods them continuously. When they are older, the mother will brood them only at night or during bad weather. Even after leaving the nest, the juveniles will follow their parents around and beg food from them. Juveniles become capable of sustained flight two weeks after fledging.[10]

The adult male and female both are active in protecting and feeding the fledged chicks until they learn to forage on their own. The adult Robin gives alarm calls and dive-bombs predators, including domestic cats, dogs and humans that come near the young birds. The fledglings are able to fly short distances after leaving the nest. The wings of juvenile birds develop rapidly and it only takes a couple of weeks for them to become proficient at flying. The cryptically colored young birds perch in bushes or trees for protection from predators. Bird banders have found that only 25% of young Robins survive the first year.[10] The longest known lifespan in the wild of an American Robin is 14 years; the average lifespan is about 2 years.[10]

At Beacon Hill Park

[edit] Vocalization

The male American Robin, as with many thrushes, has a beautiful, complex and almost continuous song. Its song is commonly described as a cheerily carol, made up of discrete units, often repeated, and spliced together into a string with brief pauses in between.[17] The song varies regionally, and its style varies by time of day. The song period is from early March in California to late July or early August; some birds, particularly in the east, sing occasionally into September or later. The American Robin is often among the first songbirds singing as dawn rises, and last as evening sets in. It usually sings from a high perch in a tree.[10] The song of T. m. confinis is weaker than that of the nominate subspecies, and lacks any clear notes.[5]

 

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Virtual birding

Wow!!! Keep the cats away :) Life goes on :)