Tag Archives: Backyard Birding

The Robin Story

21 Jul

Patricia Franklin

A Few Thoughts

I think I mentioned that the mother robin left a little egg shell by my door.  Since that time, I noticed she had two babies.  I watched them both and worried that they had left the nest too soon.  She tried to keep them in the branches of the lilac bush.  The young one pretty much listened to her, the other one was a little more independent.  (I’m using my imagination here).
One morning I went out and found one of them dead on the back lawn.  It did not look damaged, so I did not know what got to it…. either a cat or a very angry black bird??   It seemed to be the bigger one that was dead.  I kept track of the little one, who thrived, and learned to fly pretty well.  He discovered our birdbath, and loved it.  Whenever he got in it, he had so much fun he did not want to leave.  He would splash around, then just lay there, then kept repeating it.  He was fun to watch, as he loved it so much. Then he would fly up on the fence and shake out his feathers.  No other bird has ever spent that much time bathing there.

I lost track of the birds for about 3 or 4 weeks while we were gone, and busy running around.  Several times since, I have  seen birds in the back, and several were robins with the spots on their breasts, so I knew they were brand new in the neighborhood.

This morning, I was sitting outside and there were quite a few birds around, some still being fed by their mamas.  Then a robin flew into the birdbath and splashed and played for the longest time.  I was sure it was the one from our lilac, especially when he finally got out and flew on the fence to shake out his feathers.  I noticed he was bigger, but still had some of his baby spots.  I’m sure it was him, and I hope he will be our neighbor for a long time to come. I think I’ll always recognize him by his antics in the birdbath.

 

From Flickr

Do Birds Bond with People? 

27 May

 A Few Thoughts

Patricia Franklin

 Our friend Patricia Franklin wrote me this week. Here’s what she had to say about the robin that nests in her back yard-DiVoran

robins

Sorry I have not answered your newsy letter…. and thanks so much for the interesting article on birds!  I guess they live and thrive by instinct, but I think they have a built in intelligence too, that we do not understand.  I think I mentioned that we have a robin’s nest in our back yard.  I have been waiting and watching for a couple of weeks for the 1st hatchling.  I usually sit out on the patio chair, I water my flowers, etc. and sometimes I talk to the robins if they are around.  They have found out that we do not bother them, in fact, I chased some intruders away the other day.  Do you think they bond with us in some way?   Here is what happened today.

We were sitting in the kitchen having a cup of tea after supper, with the patio door open, when I heard this scratching and tapping on the patio cement right outside.  I turned my head, and there right in front of the door was the mother robin tapping a little blue eggshell on the cement.  I got up and walked over to the door and said something like, ” Well, I have been wondering when you were going to hatch the first one.  I’m so happy for you.”  She actually strutted around, back and forth in front of me for a little while and then went flying off to her nest, leaving the eggshell for us.  Is that uncanny or what?  Am I reading too much into this?  I do feel a bond with them, and maybe they feel it too. It was the highlight of my weekend!  (Hey, I’m pretty simple and easy to please!)

The Snow Bird Shuffle

26 Feb

Our friend, Patricia Franklin is back to share a story about Snow Birds and if you live in Florida or Arizona, they aren’t people from up north!~Enjoy,  Onisha.

A Few Thoughts

Patricia Franklin

I don’t know what the bird’s official name is, but I have always called them snow birds. They show up outdoors in the winter when everything and everyone else runs for cover from the snow and cold.   Late December or early January they show up to spend the winter near our birdfeeder. They are hearty little fellows and very striking against the white snow with their dark heads and back, buff colored bellies and black little “snow boots.” They are about the size of a sparrow and join the little red headed finches and sparrows at the feeder.

I watch the little snow birds trying to find  food while the snow is coming down and covering everything in sight.  The snow piles up on the bird feeder.  When the other birds run for cover,  the little snow birds come soaring in, land on the feeder and start shuffling their little feet back and forth and dig up the seed that is buried in the snow.  They are doing their little dance which I call the “snow bird shuffle.”  They are so flamboyant  and enthusiastic it lifts our mood and carries us on through the dark bleak days of winter into the light of spring.

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

Nuthatch

The Robin Diaries- Part 6

28 Jul

Speak Up Saturday

Patricia Franklin

Our yard is becoming popular real estate for birds now. Besides the two nests in the yard, some little red finches were inspecting our satellite dish. They did not come back though. I noticed a hummingbird sailing around in that heavy wind yesterday. I don’t know how they do it. I put out our hummingbird feeders now. They like zeriscape. After noticing that the robins really like the millers, which are migrating to the cool mountains now, I released a bunch of millers from under the BBQ cover and watched the robins catch them.

I was worried a couple of days ago about the robins. One got in a big fight with robins and neither of them would quit. They ended up chasing each other all around the neighborhood. Then I only saw one robin for the rest of the day. I kept watching and finally, just before I went into the house that night, I saw both of them at the nest again. That meant I could sleep without worrying about them. The same evening we took a walk around the block and ran into a neighbor we had never met before. He was coming out of the house with his son-in-law. We said hello and he told us he was going to show his son-in-law the robins. So of course, we inquired about it. He showed us a nest, and, surprise, they had all flown away. So the man ran into his house to get his camera and show us the close-ups he had taken of the three babies. I was excited to hear he was so interested in them. He said he had been off work, and so he watched them all week.

Frank sneaked a peek into our nest and said there was nothing there, but I know there is. They must have scrunched down. I said, “No more peeking in the nest.” I want to stay out of their way. I don’t want them getting anxious and leaving prematurely. They are still small. I have not heard them chirping yet, but the adult robins sit on the fence and sing to them so they will recognize their voices and learn how to chirp back.

Robin nest

Robin nest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

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