Monday, June 30, 2008


The robin babies leave the nest in the same order that they hatch and once they're out in the big world life is not easy. They are still dependent on the parents for food, usually the papa, and they still have to build up their muscles. A good birding method is listen-stop-look. There is a specific baby robin call, "cheep cheep!", or "cheep cheep CHEEP!", which means, "Feed me!" and "Feed me NOW!" I was walking on the path and heard, "cheep cheep", followed the sound and saw the new fledgling being fed. It was a windy day. The baby looked around, tried to fly and toppled to the ground. It didn't have the strength to deal with the wind's force. I could not see the baby on the ground from my position on the path. The view was blocked by a cement planter. I could here the baby and decided to get into the garden. That meant going back into the building and coming out the back door. I tiptoed closer and heard, "cheep cheep", followed the sound and found the baby safely on another branch in the next tree. But just to be sure I went to look at the ground under the first tree and there lay a dead baby robin. My heart sank. Dead baby exactly where the baby had fallen. This baby was face down, so I got a twig and turned it over. It was already maggotty and that doesn't happen in 15 minutes, so most likely this was a prior fledge, fell off same branch and either broke neck and/or wing in a fall. The mortality rate is high for baby robins. The safe baby stayed in the new tree all afternoon, clinging on for dear life and being catered to by parent.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Down-the-Hatch, Never enough, Nest #3

Only one mulberry delivery today, no scrimmage. Today was worm day. Drop 'em in there, vertically, horizontally, all down-the-hatch, insatiable appetites with visible resultant growth. Older siblings are worm-hunting near nest site, but not venturing close. This little nest is going to get very crowded.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Mulberry scrimmage, Nest #3

The baby robins eat worms, bugs and berries. At this time of year soft, sweet, juicy mulberries are plentiful. from 2:35:21 through 2:35:51 the mulberry got passed around. Babies are not good at swallowing big things. Papa brings berry, gives to kid. Papa retrieves berry, gives to next kid. Wait. Papa retrieves berry, gives to next kid, etc. Mama wants berry. Baby gets it. Wait. Mama and papa nip at berry. Mama has berry. Mama eats it. Maybe. 2:53:05, Back to worms.

Nest observations, June 28, 2008 a.m.

From now on this will be referred to as Nest #3. There are four new hatchlings all thriving and being attended to by both parents who deliver worms, bugs and berries on a regular basis. The pattern of feeding, keeping nest clean and leaving nest to hunt is predictable. The babies are all mouth even when parent is cleaning out bottom of nest. The adults will eat the fecal sacs delivered by the young. The 4th born seems to be runty, to be expected, but all kids are getting their fair share of food. For the first time I saw one of the juveniles from Nest #2 approach the nest area. The adult chased it away, but it went safely into a crab apple tree and watched what was going on. The baby heads poke out from the side of the mother. This will look funnier in a few days. The activity is not easy to photograph, because direct light does not hit this nest. Everyone who passes by and sees this scene smiles, urban heaven, our own Garden of Eden.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Nest continued, from

I haven't yet figured how to get my new e-mail onto the heading, but this will work for now.

There are three, maybe four babies in this nest. The parents are delivering worms, bugs and berries. The feeding method seems to be dunk-and-yank. In goes the huge worm and it gets yanked back, like dappling, sometimes with baby still hanging on. Baby goes for bungy cord ride. A bit of worm gets eaten. Dunk and retrieve until there's no worm left. Sometimes baby gets decorated with food. This caption has to be, "Don't play with your food. It's not a tiara."

Robins in the Garden

We live in cement city, New York, and into our space come nature. We've had a robin family since February. Now they're on nest #3. The little nest was built right after nest #2's babies fledged. Fastest incubation in history. There are now hatchlings. As a first blog, first in my life, I am honored to show off our new babies.