Country Living Series

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Nesting robins

Of all the birds we have around here, I love robins the most.

Despite their penchant for my strawberries, I'm ridiculously fond of these sassy little thrushes.

I watched a juvenile robin in our corral early yesterday morning, just at sunrise.

Needless to say, I was pretty durned tickled to find a nest in a bush right outside the garden fence.

I found it a couple weeks ago when I was weeding in a bed too close to the bush, and the parent birds scolded me.

Alert to the happy possibility of a nest, I went searching in the only logical spot and found it.

On May 24, it had three eggs in the stunning "robin's-egg blue" color.

Shortly thereafter, it had four. I took three separate photos on three separate days and no more eggs were added, so four seems to be their full brood number.

May 31:

June 1:

June 4:

I try not to disturb the mama bird too often, but fortunately she seems to realize I mean her no harm since she doesn't hesitate to settle herself back on the nest in my presence.

The father bird, however, stays nobly protective of his mate's nest, and keeps a suspicious eye on me in the garden.

Yesterday morning I heard the raucous calls of magpies, which are common around here. Magpies eat eggs -- and baby birds. A couple years ago they decimated the nest of a pair of bluebirds we had nesting in the garden, to my dismay.

I was worried they might have found the robin's nest, so I hurried over to check. Thankfully the nest was undisturbed, and I was delighted to see one baby already hatched.

I feel very protective about this nest, and hope the robins can successfully raise their brood.


  1. The robins here have already raised their first brood. My favorites is the Phoebe, a fly catcher. One pair raises 2 broods every year under cover of the front porch. Last year they were on top of the light with is just over the front door. You can hear their mouths snap at bugs as they fly along. If you want to protect the Bluebirds, build houses for them. Only take a few minutes and they do appreciate it. I've 4 and they all get used.

  2. I love that you, too, watch out for the wild birds in your area. We've seen many more songbirds and many more varieties since we've moved to the farm than we'd ever see in town.

    The previous homeowners left a random PVC pipe sticking out of the ground near our front porch. It was five or six feet high and descends three or four feet below the surface of the yard. Last year we heard baby birds fluttering at the bottom of it. The pipe was way too high and too skinny for them to escape.

    The kids and I built a little birdie "elevator" out of a stick and pieces of string. We lowered it down the pipe and were delighted when the baby birds, one by one, hopped on and rode it slowly to the top of the pipe as we pulled the string!

    We cut off the pipe closer to the surface of the yard and I'm going to buy a PVC cap so it does not trap any other small critters.

    Happy Robin Watching! Blessings, as always, to you and yours.

  3. I call them barn swallows, not exactly sure, they make their nests out of mud. For years they have built a nest under my back patio cover, and this year we have
    a second set that has built a nest under the south facing eave of my garage. Blessings I tell you! I've heard they eat their weight in insects daily, and the best mosquito catchers that I know of. I seldom have a big problem with mosquitos in my yard. Two years ago I had thirteen of them sitting on my ancient television antenna. My oh so picky neighbor suggests I should get a big stick and break up their nests. HA, I enjoy sitting outside bug free, she can't say the same.

  4. Ma,am: You are welcome to ALL my robins. We have to purchase earthworms to 'prime' the soil, and the robins thieve the worms... I cheer the hawks.......Soapweed

  5. Haven't heard from you in a while.
    I hope nothing is wrong?

  6. I have the biggest mosquito problem, seeing how I live close to the Great Dismal Swamp in North Carolina, I will be growing gourds to make Purple Martin houses along with putting up a few bat boxes on the back of my barn. A single Big brown bat can eat between 3,000 and 7,000 mosquitos in a night, with large
    populations of bats consuming thousands of tons of potentially harmful forest and agricultural pests annually. Purple Martins feeds on a wide variety of flying insects, including many wasps and winged ants, and some bees; also many true bugs, flies (including house flies and crane flies), beetles, moths, and butterflies. Dragonflies may be an important part of diet. Also eats some spiders. The old claim of martins eating "2,000 mosquitoes a day" apparently has no basis in fact, but they come close.

  7. Hope all is well... Worried about you...