It is Springtime in Minnesota.
In a basket next to our front door, a Mama Robin built a beautiful cradle to lay and nurture her babies.
Twigs arrived on Saturday, they are about 6 inch pieces.
Mama Robin weaves grasses among the twigs and quickly places her belly in the middle to ensure a strong cradle is in progress. It needs to be comfortable so twigs are not sticking out which would make the babies uncomfortable.
Her favorite trees for hopping back and forth into the nest are the River Birch lined along the driveway. She makes hundreds of trips to find materials and instinctively creates a sturdy bowl-shaped space. This nest is four feet above the patio floor, in a wire basket protected from rain and heavy winds.
Before flying into the nest, she consistently makes a quick stop on the neighbors roof to see if it is safe to approach our porch.
We have gone from two eggs, then three the next day, to now four eggs! OK, they are tiny, tiny but I am protecting them like they are my own!! When Mama Robin has to leave the nest I'm on watch-out. And picture taking.
Of all the possible days to begin breaking out of their eggs it is Mother's Day when the first arrives! It takes nearly a whole day to chip out of their shell. It's hard work. They are pale pink with only a few tufts of fine hair. We think they look funny.
The eggs usually hatch a day apart in the order they were laid.
The whole brood and all four appear to be doing fine.
Their appearance changes quickly. I like how they often prop their beaks on the edge.
May 13th, Nicole, Alex, Brooke, and James are seeing the sleepy snugglers for the first time.
Feeding and watching is constant work. The mama and daddy bird take turns sitting on the nest to provide warmth, protect the nest with loud sounds if someone approaches and getting worms to feed their babes.
One by one they get ready to fly.
And then there are three.
One remained and looks a little lonely without the others. Or perhaps is enjoying the space!
We were a little sad to see them leave our special place on the front porch but we sure had fun watching each step. We're grateful for this up-close opportunity to learn and love the Robin Family. This is the last one to leave the nest on May 22, 2016.
To Learn more, read The Story of Robin Eggs.