Monday, May 25, 2009

A quiet Sunday with robins

Each morning my first stop is to check on the robin nestlings. The nestling stage can be as short as nine days, as long as sixteen. Yesterday was day #11. Each morning I approach with trepidation. Human interference has been excessive. The two remaining nestlings are doing very well. Their appetite is insatiable. Worms, bugs, berries, drop it down the hatch. They're both noticing the world outside the nest now including reacting to flies that may buzz near the nest. Unfortunately, they also react to loud noises, - car horns, sirens, shouts-, flinch and hunker down flat in the nest bottom. They are flexing their little legs, but they need to be flapping their wings more, strengthen muscles for the maiden flight. They seem a little slow in that area of development.

Both parents are bringing food. Papa stopped n the afternoon to bathe. The catering service goes on all day. A couple of times Mama Robin sat on a nearby branch softly calling to the nestlings. Pre-fledge commmunication? See, there's space for you out here?

Last year the nestlings in this nest were a rock solid trusting bunch, no flinching. Sometimes when light was very low I used a strobe with diffuser to supply fill light. This time I don't dare do that for fear of startling the babies. When the light is dim I shoot with an ISO of 800 or higher. If the images of wings flapping are blurred I don't care. I want these babies to feel secure.

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