Nest By Our Window
by Paul Schmoll
(Beaverton, Oregon, USA)
Mom, we're hungry
One afternoon, my wife and I noticed a large batch of moss that had been dropped on our driveway.
Looking up, we noticed that there was Moss hanging from a downspout under the eaves by a bedroom window on the next floor up. Mixed in with the moss were several twigs.
Just as we were about to look away, a robin came with more material of some sort, arranged it a bit and then left. We were seeing the beginnings of a nest.
I must admit to being only somewhat of a bird watcher, paying attention mostly to the things that go on in my yard.
I have several feeders, mostly because we like to watch the interactions between the birds, the squirrels, the chipmunks, and other small creatures that come to feed and play.
Throughout the remainder of the day, we watched from time to time as the nest began to take shape. The next morning, we looked out and the nest was finished. Just that quick.
Over the next few days, there were occasional sightings of the robin, but it was not there as often as we were looking. But then we noticed that she was sitting for longer periods of time in the nest. We assumed she was laying her eggs.
She would then leave for an extended period of time. Finally, she began to stay, moving only slightly at times. She would occasionally leave the nest, but quickly returned to her setting.
Then one morning, about two weeks after she had begun to set, we saw her going and coming with food. One or more of her eggs had hatched.
For about fifteen days we watched as she came and went, feeding what turned out to be three babies. The babies grew so quickly that we were totally amazed.
The babies would push and shove a bit, and as the time for them to leave the nest grew closer, one or more would stand on the edge of the nest giving the others a bit more room.
Occasionally, the mother noticed me watching. She would hop onto the nest and cover the babies by fluffing up.
As the babies grew larger, this became more difficult for her, and it was a bit humorous to watch her, trying to poke the heads of her young back under her outstretched body and wings.
On the fifteenth day after feeding began, we noticed that we could no longer see the heads of all the babies, and were thinking that perhaps they were leaving the nest. Sure enough, by that evening, only one baby was left, and it was shakily standing on the edge of the nest most of the time.
The next morning, I looked to see if the baby was still there, and it was, and the mother was still feeding it. But, about an hour later, when I looked, the baby was gone and the nest was empty.
I was disappointed that we had not been able to see the babies in the process of leaving, but at least we had seen them grow.
About two hours later, my wife summoned me to the kitchen window, and there, on a bush by our deck, sat the baby.
We watched for only a few moments, when the mother arrived with food. We watched this process for a while, then had to leave. Upon our return, the robins were gone.
Hopefully, they will stick around our home, and make our yard their playground.
The greatest thing is that we got lots of pictures.
Oh, by the way, about an hour ago, my wife called me to come into that same room where we had been able to observe for so many days, and there, sitting in the nest was a robin.
We don't know if it is the same one we had seen before, but it looks like this miracle of life is about to repeat itself.