Stevens Point, WI, United States
My Robin neighbors’ young are quickly developing feathers. Last week they still looked like the baby from the movie “Eraserhead” but now they resemble their parents, showing more personality, curiosity, and ever more verve. It must be itchy to grow into your feathers because they are constantly picking at themselves and each other (either that or they have mites — ouch). Mom (nicknamed “Serene”) and Dad (“Serenade”) show signs of weariness as they continue to strive to meet the demands of this maturing brood.
The biggest, and perhaps the first hatched, is on the far left. I have predicted it is a “he” because each time he has stretched out his neck, he displays the brightest breast and wing feathers. He will most likely jump out of the nest first. I also thought he would be the greediest when it came to food, but from what I’ve observed, the parents go back and forth dividing food in turns. They really pay attention to details.
As they get a little bigger, you’ll want to be careful of walking near the nest, as they might jump out prematurely. If I recall correctly, this nest is on an AC unit, so hopefully you can still get photos from a distance in that location. Once they are 2-3 days from fledging (leaving the nest), all baby birds need space to avoid being frightened out of the nest a few days early. But I also seem to remember you saying you were using a telephoto lens, so you are probably already giving them space. Your passion for these birds is evident in your photos and stories, and it sounds like you’re learning a lot by observing them, so thanks for sharing their journey with us.
Thank you for mentioning that! I soon found out all about that the last time I took photos. The largest fledgling left the nest, and the next bigger one followed the next day, both when they last caught sight of me, even though I wasn’t messing around the nest. The nest is too, too close to my apartment and other human beings who walk close by. I’ve managed to warn my closest neighbors, and we’re doing all we can to “sneak” out! So far the parent birds have been spot on with training. Their eyes are very sharp.
The biggest birds took to the sky very well. I got to watch the father Robin train the fledgling. It almost looked like it was spooking the fledgling out of hiding and out into the open — like it was doing battle with another bird.
The second fledgling to leave the nest has been slower at flying. The parents are keeping her in the trees. She hop-flies about the branches, continuing to be fed by her parents.
The last two in the nest are the littlest two and are sufficiently quiet and hiding from passers-by. My neighbors are aware to be quiet and not approach the nest, so far so good! Even so, I decided to take the last photos yesterday to ensure the last fledglings don’t get spooked out of the nest too early. Thank you for reminding me!
It was hard to hold back the stupid human nature to want to touch the fledglings, but my desire to see them successfully reach adulthood without my interference won out. Thanks in big part to following the protocol lined out via NestWatch. I have learned more here than I ever have anywhere else.
Thought I should tell you that all four fledglings have successfully left the nest and are well off on their own! I got to see a few of them this weekend in the area here and there in the trees. Amazing how much they’ve grown, and flown, in just a few days. 🙂
Wonderful news! You’re very lucky. Both of the robin nests I was watching failed, but they weren’t near my house so I don’t know what happened. They were in my local park, which has a lot of chipmunks. Could’ve been a chipmunk, squirrel, or something else that got their eggs. 🙁 But I have delighted in being able to see your robins grow, and have since seen a few robin fledglings in my neighborhood that I wasn’t monitoring. If you haven’t seen this time-lapse video yet, you should watch it: http://youtu.be/lVQOdxTMpyI
That video was beautiful! Thank you. So sorry the nest(s) you watched didn’t make it. There were a few times I thought the one I watched wasn’t. There was one other nest built on an a/c unit that did not make it in my apartment complex. It was due to a careless, jerk neighbor of mine. Otherwise everyone in the area really cared about the robins. Both me and the birds lucked out that our neighbors cooperated with code of conduct!
Nice thing is I have been experiencing return visits by the parent birds to the birdbath. I snapped some awesome new photographs, even seen a partial albino robin in the area! I hope to take photo of that one, but she’s a shy one. 🙂 Once again, thank you so much for commenting, taking the time to make sure I was being extra careful with these birds, and sharing your enthusiasm, too.