Jun 29 2009

Second Brood? Or Third?

Published by at 7:36 pm under Nesting & Courtship,Songbirds

American robin nest with young (photo by Chuck Tague)Last week I discovered an American robin nest outside my study window. 

As I sit here and type, Mother Robin is making food deliveries to her tiny babies who are slightly older than the chicks pictured here.  This is probably her second brood this season.  If her first nest was very early or if it failed, this could be her third.

Now she pauses to brood her babies.  As she sits on the nest she makes a high-pitched "eeeeeeeeep" sound.  It's a sound I wouldn't associate with robins if I hadn't seen one making it.  Is she calling her mate? 

Her chicks are silent, a good defense against predators at this age.  Even so, Mother Robin is wary.  My cat sits at the window as I blog and the robin is alert to Emmy's pointy ears.  I don't think Emmy's noticed the robin's nest because it's far away and hidden by leaves.  (I use binoculars to see the babies.)  My cat is much more absorbed by the house sparrows sitting on the wire shouting at her. 

I hope all goes well for this robin family.  There are crows, grackles and blue jays on my street who would love to raid her nest.  Good luck, babies.

(photo by Chuck Tague)

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Second Brood? Or Third?”

  1. Hollyon 29 Jun 2009 at 10:33 pm

    Oh I do so love the wild babies. I had a nest in my carport one year, I parked outside and took photos every other day. They fledged quickly and disappeared. I often see Robins at the red currant bushes in the backyard. They are a favorite bird of mine.


  2. Anne Curtison 30 Jun 2009 at 12:37 am

    As I was walking our dog Liffey near CMU two days ago, I found fragments of robin eggshell on the sidewalk, nowhere near any tree or shrub that could harbor a nest.

    I did get “buzzed” this evening near my home, several houses up from where I saw the shells, by a robin. I know they dispose of the shells away from the nest. Should I be looking in my backyard for the nest?

    As an aside, we were also evaluated by a falcon in the inner quad at CMU as we walked. She (?) was on the ground behind one of the sycamores, and flew to a tree branch. She left it and went to a higher one, and turned to watch us as I watched her. So cool! Liffey snuffled and went crazy at the ground site–maybe she is a bird dog? I think not.


  3. Kate St. Johnon 01 Jul 2009 at 9:12 pm

    What a bummer! This morning I didn’t see any activity at the robins’ nest but had no time to look at it with binoculars. Tonight at dusk I checked. The nest is completely empty and the parents are gone. Those babies were too young to fly. A predator must have eaten them. 🙁

  4. Kate St. Johnon 04 Jul 2009 at 9:28 pm

    If robins have a period of mourning for lost nestlings, it appears to have ended. This morning the male robin was singing near the nest tree.

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