On a Sunday afternoon in May, I was puttering about the back yard when I saw a baby rabbit hop behind our garden shed.
I followed it and was completely surprised to find a robin's nest was built in the coil of two wound garden hoses hanging from a ladder. The ladder was balanced on the top of an old dog kennel we used to use.
I walked over to see the nest and it was empty. The very next day I went back and there was one beautiful blue egg. On Tuesday there were two eggs. Wednesday, no change but on Thursday, there were four!
I checked the nest daily and it remained at four. It seemed like no time at all when I popped over to find that all four eggs had hatched and the mother was not happy with my visit!
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I continued to check on the nest every other day or so for two weeks, watching the robins grow. The mother would dive bomb me and squawk her head off so I would take a quick photo and get away.
To this day, we've never had such an unusual spot chosen in our yard, and we've had several nests in the past. All of them were in my lilac bush.
My husband first found the nest. He would walk out through our gate to his pick-up and wonder why Robins were diving him.
Then one day he noticed straw hanging down from his tools that were hung on the side of his garage. He looked up and to his surprise there was a nest.
Once we knew the nest was there we tried hard not to go in the back yard. We didn't want to scare them away. That was impossible of course.
We did wait until the nest was empty whenever possible. It did seem like they got use to us coming and going as they didn't fly away as much.
Eventually my curiosity got the best of me and I had to see how many eggs were in the nest. First I just laid a ladder against the garage. Then I waited a couple days and climbed up to have a look.
My husband told me I shouldn't but if I had to to make sure I didn't touch the nest or eggs. I told him I was smart enough not to do that. There were 3 blue eggs inside.
Then we waited and waited. So afraid mom hadn't sat on the eggs enough because of us. One day I looked out our bathroom window and either mom or dad was in the nest and there was this little creature with the biggest mouth wide open.
It was the best thing ever. Once again I had to climb the ladder. This time to make sure there were 3 babies. There were.
It was so cool watching these little babies. Then we went camping for a week. Got back today and the nest is empty.
We know very little about birds. I have a bird feeder outside our living room window and I also put feed on the window ledge. It's like having an ever changing bird cage.
We also have a hummingbird feeder but that's the extent of it. Will our birds come back to use this nest again? I need to know if I have to start saving to buy my husband new tools.
This spring we had robins build a nest in an 8 ft. tree that is in the atrium area of the front door to our house.
At first I did not even see the nest. I saw a big mess of straw below the tree, on the patio entry way. I wondered who'd made the mess.
Then I looked up and a bird suddenly flew out of the tree... just missing my head! It was a Robin. That started our entire "Robin Family Adventure."
Everyday we would see the "mom" Robin sitting in the nest as we would leave for work or taking our son to school.
We would see the male Robin sitting in a tree farther away... chattering at us if we got too close to Momma and her nest. Momma Robin was spooked the first few times we would walk by, but then got used to us.
A few weeks later there were four blue eggs in the nest. Sometime after that the four chicks hatched!
Sadly one of the tiny chicks fell out of the nest and died. The three other chicks began to grow as mom and dad brought them worms.
We left out a small plate below the tree with meal worms, red worms and small pieces of chopped fresh strawberries. They ate well! The chicks began to grow.
Sometimes the mom and dad Robin would stay away from the nest for a while. We got worried and actually hand fed the chicks several times.
Then... when we would walk by... all three chicks would open their mouths in anticipation of food. They began to outgrow the nest and began perching on its outer ledge.
Twice one of the chicks fell out and we had to put them back in the nest. One time the entire nest fell out and we had to put it back. Still... the chicks grew and endured. Mom and Dad Robin hung in there.
All three of the chicks matured enough to fly away! We still see the young Robins in the outer trees near our house from time to time.
The interesting part of this whole Robin story is... that the tree they built their nest in was a fake tree!!!
It had wood and plastic branches and silk leaves! We bought it at Target for $39.95!
I had two robins' nests on my house this year. One was in the front (facing south) on top of my drainpipe, and the other was on top of a light fixture on the back of the house, facing north.
I discovered the nest in the back one day when I opened my double sliding doors to go out on the deck.
I enjoy sitting out there to soak up the sunshine and read, especially in the spring before it gets too hot.
When I opened the sliding doors for the first time, I was startled by something flying from the house with a very indignant squawk.
I saw it was a robin, perched in the big maple tree in my back yard watching me, all the while continuing her very indignant screeching. Then I saw her nest.
It was perched on top of the light fixture on the back of the house, right next to the sliding back doors.
Over time, mama robin and I developed an uneasy truce. When I came out on the deck, she would fly away squawking, but once I settled down in my chaise to read, she would return to sit and incubate her eggs.
Eventually, if I moved slowly, she would stay on the nest even as I entered and exited through the sliding back doors.
Still, I often felt that mama robin didn't pick a very good place for her nest. Not only did she have to contend with my comings and goings, but because she nested on the north side, the nest was not very well protected.
There was no direct sunlight, and I was very worried about mama robin and her unhatched eggs when we had a cold spell for a couple of days and the temperature dropped into the 30's at night with a cold north wind.
The nest was not artfully built, because that wind did some damage. When I came out on the deck the next day, I saw pieces of what looked like straw or twigs hanging down from it. It was quite a mess.
Meanwhile, the nest in the front of the house was protected and had warm sunshine most of the day. It was a perfect round nest perched neatly on the drainpipe.
Nevertheless, mama robin and her chicks prevailed. Eventually I saw three hungry mouths poking up out of the nest and had a front row seat watching mama and dad taking turns guarding the nest and feeding their offspring.
Then one day, as I came out on the deck, I heard a thud. I turned to see one of the chicks out of the nest, and I was horrified to think that I had startled it and it had fallen out of the nest when I opened the sliding door.
But I soon realized that the chick had not fallen - it was ready to fly. It hopped across the deck to the back railing and flew off under the railing across the back yard to land under the arborvitae hedge.
That same day, the other two chicks also left the nest. Chick number 2 followed his sibling exactly, hopping across the deck and then flying under the railing to land under the hedge. The last chick, however, took his time.
He stood perched on top of the light fixture for a very long time. I could hear his mother in the maple tree, calling to her offspring to leave the nest.
Finally, the chick landed on the deck, but very uncertainly. He hopped, not across the deck, but sideways, and his first attempt to fly was against the cedar siding of the house which runs along one side of the deck.
He flapped his wings fruitlessly against the house, and I was afraid he'd hurt himself. But eventually he figured it out and he too followed his siblings under the railing and across the yard.
No one returned to the nest after that. But my guests sure left a mess behind, with bird poop running down the drainpipe and the side of my house under the light fixture. Even so, it was worth it to see this new life up close and personal.
Unfortunately I didn't think to take any pictures. But I've since noticed many robins in the two maple trees in my back yard, singing away, so I don't think my guests strayed very far from home.
What was all that mess on my front porch? Oh, no, some birds were building a nest right on top of my front porch light, next to my front door and just above my mail box.
This didn't seem like a good idea to me, so I cleaned up the stuff that had fallen on the porch floor.
There seemed to be more nesting material on the floor than on the light, so I optimistically -- and unrealistically -- thought this wouldn't last long. Wrong!
This nest was built by a pair of very determined robins.
Luckily, I didn't use my front door much, but USPS came up on the porch for daily mail delivery.
Being disturbed daily seemed like a bad idea for nesting robins, so I went out and bought a mailbox, attached it to a stand with a bungee cord, and posted a sign requesting that no one go up on my porch.
The postal carriers have been very obliging, perhaps because having the mail box out on the sidewalk saves them several steps to and from my porch. (Imagine -- we have home mail delivery!)
The robins and I have accommodated each other.
There are now at least three fledglings who look like they are about ready to leave the nest.
I was looking forward to having my porch and front door back again.
But then I found this website and learned that robins may have up to three broods.
I'm looking forward to having my porch back, but I know I'll miss these lovely birds (and I'm hoping they have short memories and pick another spot next summer!).
I want birds in my yard! I moved in my home 7 years ago.
Although my home is on a big suburban lot, it had lifeless landscaping with hard clay dirt and no wildlife except for a few scampering squirrels using my fence as a short cut.
Every year I spread yards of dirt and compost and acquire new plants.
I now have a very edible backyard full of fruit trees, berries, veggies, and native plants.
With all this new flora, I am finally getting birds!
A friend of mine who is a master gardener scolded me for over tidying my yard in the winter because all the dying debris make good homes for critters.
To my amazement, I got to witness that all my dry plant debris became building fodder for nest building.
Through my kitchen window, I have been watching a pair of Robins tugging on my dry grasses, going through my planters, flying around with building materials in his beak. It has been so fun to watch.
In Oregon, we have so much rain, that I am behind in my gardening. So today I finally got out in my backyard to garden.
I spent about four hours out there while these Robins flew from tree to fence watching me.
This delighted me as I have a special place in my heart for Robins because as a teenager, I successfully saved a baby and raised it to adulthood to let her fly away to find a mate the following spring.
Now my story becomes worrisome.
As I went up on the deck, I saw that the Robins have been making their nest in my light fixture which is right by a sliding glass door and only 8 feet high.
I am worried that they chose a place that will have too much traffic or commotion.
My plan is to no longer use that door nor turn on the light. I will be calm and quiet when outside.
The nest may be abandoned. Time will tell. I am hoping for babies...wish us luck! I will update the results...