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Archive for the ‘Robin Watch’ Category

"Amy Welborn"

 

Getting crowded. I swear, I don’t know how this is going to work – another day or two, how are they all going to fit? And when they start moving around more…well, just say that I’ve researched “baby birds falling out of the nest.” There’s really nothing I can do considering I can’t actually return the baby to the nest.  Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that…..

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Reminder:

These guys haven’t even been hatched a week.  The change is astonishing to me.

The guy dominating the nest is obviously the first to hatch. There were two that first day, but this one is bigger even than the next smallest one.

"Amy Welborn"

Moving closer, you can really see how his skin is transforming.  When they first hatched they were pink all over. No more.  Almost reptilian-looking.

"Amy Welborn"

 

A halfway-decent wing shot.

"Amy Welborn"

 

"Amy Welborn"

Zillionth meal of the day.

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They’re growing.  I hope I can get some good shots tomorrow, especially of those developing wings,  but I had a lot of work to do today.

I confess to being almost freaked out by their rate of growth – and the fact that’s it’s not just growth, but development of new features. Especially those wings.  I’ll say it again. It’s the stuff of horror films, really.  I keep thinking of The Fly. 

"Amy Welborn"

The head sticking out to the right is one of the two oldest.

"Amy Welborn"

 

 

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Take a look.  Their skin is getting thicker and (for lack of a better word) scalier.  Their claws have developed.  Their wings – which were, yesterday morning, just little beige-colored nubs are suddenly looking more like wings.

 

"Amy Welborn"

 

Hungry. All the time.

 

"Amy Welborn"

 

Mom arrives with a beak full of worms – hunting made easier by this afternoon’s rain shower.

 

"Amy Welborn"

 

Then Dad:

"Amy Welborn"

 

I had no idea both birds participated in the feeding.  It’s a good thing. These little suckers are hungry.

I wonder if anyone has ever done a simulation on the premise of a human being developing as quickly as an animal like a bird.  It would be scary.

 

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In other news, I just got back, and it’s amazing how much those baby birds have grown in a day.  A thunderstorm is brewing now, so I won’t bother  them, but will get photos later.  They are so big, I really don’t know how they’re going to get much bigger without flipping right out of the nest.   Now will prepare that talk..

Why are there only three birds now?


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Four

"Amy Welborn"

“It’s a pile of four little ugly birds” – Joseph after running to the window first thing this morning.

Now that they’re all hatched..we’ll see what happens.  We had two the first day, then another the next, then the fourth last night.  What is fascinating to me is the differences between the two oldest and the youngest…the oldest are a little beefier and their prot0-feathers are longer.  We’ve discovered a vantage point  in which we can stand so that the Mama doesn’t see us when she flies in with food – so we’ve had the chance to see her stick her beak in the babies’ gaping ones with worms or whatever she’s bringing.  Once I return from out of town tomorrow, I hope to have some shots of that.

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One more hatched overnight.

I do wonder what happens to the shells. Does the mom ingest them? Toss them over the side? I guess I could go down there and look on the ground. I suppose I will!

"Amy Welborn"

 

"Amy Welborn"

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"Amy Welborn"

Those eyes….

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"Amy Welborn"

The babies have been moving pretty constantly. I’m thinking they hatched last night or very early this morning.  Boy, they are hideous. And so helpless and vulnerable.  But fascinating!  The little tufts of down, the proto-wings which are just little stumpy things, the huge eyes that dominate the heads that are so very heavy.  They can’t lift their heads yet, but wriggle and writhe, stretching.  The mother still sits on them, and then she perches on the edge of the nest, doing something – I can’t see what without startling her  I’m thinking she’s rearranging the eggs – because these have clearly been moved.

It’s interesting, too that when she is startled from the nest, she doesn’t fly as far away as she did before the hatchlings broke through.  She would fly off to a tree across the yard.  Now, she just dashes to a nearby branch, chirps, and watches.

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So aside from doing actual work, my primary obsession today was trying to get a picture of Mama Bird.

Who is, to no one’s surprise, a robin.

Who is also very alert.

"Amy Welborn"

First of all, you can’t sneak up on this bird.  Even if she’s got her back to you, and you’re (okay..I’m) creeping super-slowly, or even (I admit) crawling on the ground below the window – the second you get in range of her unblinking eyes, she’s off.

(Michael has observed that she jumps before she flies. For some reason, that fascinates him.)

So what I ended up doing was just leaving the camera on a pile of books (my tripod broke a while ago and I’ve not replaced it), parking myself in a chair right next to the window with a book in one hand and the other poised on the shutter release. Waiting.

"Amy Welborn"

Partly because I just wanted a blasted picture, but also because I didn’t want to continue disturbing her.

I’m not thrilled with the photos, but I suppose that means that Mama Robin and I are even now, she probably being very Not Thrilled with me.

"Amy Welborn"

My daughter has informed me that once the eggs hatch, I won’t be able to sleep at night.  I really don’t know how she knows that.

We’ll see. I’m used to babies keeping me up at night. Nothing new there.

In other news..how is it that a simple recipe you’ve made with great success several times fails miserably the night before you’re making it for a class bake sale, necessitating tossing an entire batch and starting from scratch at 11pm? Beats me. 

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