Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 27, 2008 - Under construction and laying eggs

Now that I am aware of the two nests in the front yard, I'm trying to figure out who is shacking up in our holly trees. I was able to find and watch the pair that were still in the nest building phase. She looks very young; I figure she was probably born around this time last year, so this is probably her first time building a nest. The coloring on her breast is very pale and splotchy and she is kind of scrawny; hard to believe there are eggs in her little body somewhere! The male is a typical male Robin Red-Breast. He seems to guard her very well, always standing at attention nearby. He chirps at her at any sign of danger as she picks away at the grass to build her nest.

So far it looks like she has the straw base and the layer of mud down. From the little I know about nests, I believe she has to do a fine grass layer next and the nest will be complete. She is very busy pulling up thatch to build the middle layer, her nest seems to be a lot more complex compared to the other Robin's nest. I think the Dad has the best job of all, keeping one eye on the Mom as she searches high and low for decent thatch; while keeping his other eye on the fat earth worm coming out of the ground!

Here she is with thatch for her nest!

Here's the Dad guarding his mate.

I checked on the other nest on and off during the day. I try to do this mostly from my bedroom window since I don't want to disturb the Mom and risk her getting spooked and leaving her nest. It seems like she leaves the nest at very infrequent, small increments. When I caught her out trying to refuel, I saw that she had laid another egg! This makes three total.

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