The original post for this week’s photo challenge mentions a robin’s nest as a possible example of intricate. I’m going to take that a step further and suggest that it is not only the nest that is intricate, but that those weeks of being an egg and hatchling are perilous and require a lot of intricate details go right for the young bird. Two years ago four of the five health hatches were taken away by a larger bird of prey, a simple example of what can go wrong for these young ones. This year’s nest is doing well so far, four healthy hatches. The nest is getting crowded as the birds are growing, here is the nest first thing this morning:
I have been taking a quick photo on the macro setting with my point and shoot every morning to get a beak count before I set up my larger camera. I had taken this photo and was inside getting the chairs for my larger set-up when I heard a lot of squawking and looked outside to see that one of the birds was on the ground and hopping away. Much to the distress of the adult birds the young bird was sitting out in the open like this:
The adults spent several minutes trying to corral their youngster:
The baby hopped back closer to the nest and was fed by the adults:
But the nest is too high up for this baby to get back in. The adults managed to lure it over to a patch of wildflowers we have. A few minutes later, the young bird was led by the adults into our hedgerow which will provide more cover while the bird is learning to fly.
It seemed like a bit of a stressful moment for the adult birds as they saw to their young offspring. Their chatter attracted the attention of other animals who came to watch. In addition to myself, there was another pair of adult robins, a pair of mourning doves, a northern flicker, a squirrel, and a rabbit. All of these animals, attracted by the noise, came to watch the moment unfold. After it was over the robins went back to the business of feeding the rest of their remaining offspring.
Just a few of the intricacies that go into being a robin. As for me, to capture these few moments required two cameras and three lenses. I started with my point and shoot. The rest of the photos were taken with my Canon 50D. I used my longer 70-200mm lens for the yard shots and then switched to the 50mm when taking the last photo.
I’ve been posting photos of this journey on Flickr and Twitter, so feel free to join me there and follow along. Your comments are welcome below.