It has been sometime since I last posted a blog entry. Life and work have a way of getting in the way...
However, and despite what your outdoor thermometer says (45 F), it is spring. And with spring we have no choice but to see the rebirth of everything green.
This spring I am focusing on what is now a family of red breasted robins. Mother and father set up their nest on a small bush near a koi pond. The nest is so well protected that you would not know it existed if it were not for the adult birds flying away from the nest when they see someone approach.
A few weeks ago (30 April 2011) I noticed that the nest had 4 small eggs in it.
Last week (7 May 2011) I approached it and I saw the the eggs had already hatched. I was only able to see 3 little birds, and started wondering what happened to the 4th egg... I did not want to get too close to the nest, because the parents have become really protective of their offspring. And with the cold temperatures we are seeing, I do not want to let them leave the nest for extended periods. In this picture you can (if you try hard enough) only see 3 little heads.
A couple of days ago, I discovered that, actually, all four eggs have hatched, and now there are 4 fast growing red breasted robins in a very small nest.
Today (15 May 2011), I went out in the rain to photograph the nest. Yep, it seems that I am obsessed :-) But what amazes me is that in a short week they grew from the tiny birds of the picture above to what I saw today (check out their sizes, below).
I will go again next weekend to check on them.
On May 20 I went by the nest again. Unfortunately it was empty, with the exception of one little bird standing on a branch very close. It seemed like the nest had been raided. When I came back with my camera, everything was empty. I would have liked to think that the birds flew away, but they had not developed their feathers yet. So, I am assuming that a cat, or a raccoon must have found the nest. But that's nature's way of keeping everything in balance. Think about it. If every couple of robins had 4 little ones each year, then our life would have turned to a Hitchcock-like horror movie. (Start with 10 pairs that give birth to 4 eggs that hatch and successfully raise 4 birds, in 10 years you would have 20,480 birds!!!)
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