For the last few years I have been fortunate to have robins make a nest and hatch their young ones outside my kitchen window. I set up my camera and take plenty of pictures. Every morning though, before I set up my larger camera, I take a look inside the nest and take a few pictures using my point and shoot. I use my smaller camera because my larger camera would not be able to fit in this space and take photo like this:
Apr 22 ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/50
For these photos I am using the macro setting. I choose the ISO; 800 seems to work well in terms of getting the color with out too much noise.
April 24 ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/60
The first morning that there were two hatchlings. These are approximately an hour old. They hatched early, before there was enough light for photos, so I waited.
April 25 ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/40
Just a day later, they had many more feathers and a new sibling.
April 26 ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/100
After a few days, these three were doing well, but I was concerned about that last egg. It had some imperfections on the shell, but it had grown some, so I was hopeful that it might just be a bit late.
April 28 ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/80
By the time I took this photo it was four days after the first hatchlings made their appearence. The egg does not look good. Also, the other three birds are now strong enough to stick their heads up over the lip of the nest when the adult birds come to feed them. So, even if this last bird was to hatch, I suspect it would be too small to be able to get food.
Two days later the birds are much bigger and looking more like robins:
May 1 ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/60
It turns out that was the last photo of the babies I would get. The next morning, this is what I found:
ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/80
No sign of the babies or the last unhatched egg. I’m not sure what happened but my guess is that they were taken by another bird. I like doing projects like this, just documenting nature. It isn’t always pretty. Our nest last year had five successful hatchlings, four of which were then taken off by a hawk. This post was written in response to the Weekly Photo Challenge, Spring. A reminder perhaps that nature is both beautiful and brutal. What do you think of this type of project, do you find it difficult to stomach? Let me know what you think of the photos or the project in the comment section below.