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because ... well ... why not ...?

it's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it.

Saturday, August 4th

19:25PM

Robins in da Hood:

Robin nest

More Bugs!

This is the first year in a while when there have been two families of robins growing up in the courtyard. There's probably still time to get a third in, but maybe the parents are off relaxing somewhere with some cool drinks and enjoying a little "empty nest" time.

Those baby robins can be pretty demanding, but compared to human babies, they do have their advantages: they're not picky eaters, they seem to sleep quietly through the night, and they grow up and get their own place in a matter of weeks instead of decades.

- and they don't ask you to co-sign on a car loan or anything like that. They have their own transportation built right in.



The summer's record-setting temperatures did change the whole nesting technique a bit. With the daily highs hot enough to melt rubidium, the parent birds spent less time sitting on the nest and more standing on the edge occasionally fanning their younguns to keep them from turning into tiny blue omelettes.

pair of robins

Shh! I think they might have seen us!


But soon enough they were all hopping about in the courtyard. Every bird family that grows up out here is a little different. One of the first batch of chicks was something of a late bloomer. Usually they start working on their flying skills as soon as they leave the nest, but this guy was having none of that. Even a week after the rest of the family had flown off, I still had not seen him even try to take off. They only time he'd so much as flutter his wings was when one of the parents would bring him some more grub (or grubs, as the case may be)--and he wouldn't even come out to meet them when they brought a beakful of food. The parents usually make a particular call when they show up with dinner and usually the chicks will come up to get it, but he would wait until the parents managed to find him and shove some chow into his face.

*Then* he'd deign to do some wing-fluttering, but only then.

fat robins

"Do these feathers make me look fat?"

But after about a week of having the place to himself, he did start trying some really short flights just along the ground. It was still a few days before he'd gotten up to the window sills or up onto the table, but he did get there. Eventually he even did fly off, but it was all-around a much slower process than usual.

robin ball Z

Did you bring me worms?
No? Then piss off!

Family #2 were all pretty strong fliers right off the bat and were up on the windowsills within three or four hours after getting out of the nest. There's always one out of ever batch who's the most independent and advanced, and he flew right off. The other two followed shortly thereafter, but then they kept coming back every day for the free food.

That went on for about ten more days and, as always, the parents were really patient about it. You'd see them get up close to one of the chicks and act like they were saying, "look, this is how it's done" (peck at the ground for a bit) "now, you try!" But they'd still feed them anyway.



I think there's still time to fit in another litter before fall, but the nest has been empty since the second set stopped coming back. Guess we'll find out.



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