I’ve been lucky enough to have a Robin’s nest right outside my living room window where I could perch from my love seat and happily observe. I started watching about a week ago.
Initially there was much egg sitting and I began to notice the nest. It is a miracle that birds can make a nest. They use their beak (i.e. with no opposing beaks or thumbs) to randomly find throughout the city, twigs and twig like things to put into a tree. It starts with a spot in a tree where many small branches intersect, and then they put their first bunch of twigs in with only their beak, in a tree top, with the wind and the elements, and hope it stays. They do this for 2-6 days and gather mud with their beaks and shape the nest with their belly! Apparently, no birds have ever been seen teaching each other how to do this; they just know. I only noticed the nest once it was fully formed. I truly doubt that I could make a birds nest half as good as a little robin does. Amazing.
I’ve watched the mother bird sit on her eggs, then come and go the entire day with the help of her man robin friend, feed the 3 little chicks. Always observing, a 4th little head began to stick out. For about a week the little chicks would hear the chirp of their mother or father, and eagerly rise up heads barely out of the nest ravenous for food.
Within a week, they grew much in size, their feathers were changing and just 2 days ago, they began to flap their wings and sit either on each other or on the nest’s edge.
Then yesterday I saw a baby chick out of the nest on a nearby branch! I was so excited for it! All the bird had known was the shaded confines of the tiny nest and the closeness of it’s siblings, and then away it goes! It was literally stretching it’s wings for a while; so neat. Animals stretch often naturally. I watched it try to fly to a nearby branch and it missed as my heart sank. I walked outside to see if it was okay, and it wasn’t there. It must be fine as I hoped, to hop or fly somewhere else so quickly.
This morning, the nest was clearly empty. And just like that, all of the babies had flown from the nest. I was sad to see them gone from the view of my window but happy they were starting their life adventure. Then one of the babies flew onto a branch in a new tree, was chirping away as the father came by and fed it still. It’s flight capabilities had much improved only from yesterday. Magic!
We could learn so much about our lives and what we value simply by observing nature. I highly recommend it. It’s incredible to see the innate wisdom of Robins take care of themselves, build nests, and take care of babies. This is divine wisdom intuiting effortlessly through a Robin.
I Wikipedia-ed the American Robin and here are some interesting facts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Robin
~The female bird alone builds the nest and incubates them.
~The male helps protect and feed as does the female.
~They hatch after 14 days, and fly out 14 days later.
~Waste accumulation does not occur in the nest because adults collect and take it away. (Which I was wondering about)
~The nest takes 2-6 days to build with hundreds of trips to and from the nest.
Click here to see just what goes on in building a nest. Amazing stuff! http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/robin/BuildNest.html