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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Nest Building 101

I guess I didn't have anything better to do this morning than to watch a robin teach me how to build a bird nest.

I watched through my kitchen window.

She sits on the branches surveying the land.
Her house has to be in a good neighborhood, you know.

She hunts for building materials. As you can see, there are plenty of free building supplies in
our yard. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you will see a twig in her mouth.

In the building process.

Looking right at me.

Again, click on these to see a larger picture.
Here is the back of her with her tail feathers up,
trying to make an indent in the nest as she goes along.

Pulling up some of the falling structure, getting it just right.
It looks like some of my old Iris leaves.

She'd get on the nest and wiggle her butt and tail feathers around, trying to make it comfy.

Giving the almost completed nest a try.

Looking over the area from her side porch.

The almost finished nest.
A little messy, but it will be her home sweet home.

I wish I had a video of this. It was amazing. She'd go get material, come back and tuck it in her nest, then she'd sit and wiggle around making an indent in the middle. I watched for the longest time. It's hard to get good pictures through the kitchen window, tho.

Again, it will just take a second, if you click on the pictures to enlarge them, you will be able to see the robin much better.

And I have a sad note to add to this post.

I don't know for sure what happened, but I noticed yesterday that the mourning dove wasn't sitting on her nest. We checked it out and found two baby birds on the ground below. They were lifeless, but didn't look like they had been harmed in any way. We had a hard frost that morning, do you think the birds could have frozen and the mother then put them out of her nest? We never bothered the nest, the doves were very diligent and sat on it both night and day. I was so sad, but unfortunately, in nature, things like this happen.


  1. That is so sad about the doves. I don't know what could have happened. I love the pics of the robin building her nest. Wish I could experience something like that. I think we have too many neighborhood cats for the birds to nest close.

  2. Great post series, Janet. I like to watch birds going about their day.
    Sorry to hear about the doves.

  3. Janet,

    Awww! The circle of life is sometimes cruel. Can you hear her mourning. We had a mourning dove here whose mate was killed and it keened and mourned for weeks. It finally left his area, I think or else something happened to it.

    I'm not sure if the hard frost would kill the babies. If the nest was being sat on, I doubt if that would have happened. Another of life's mysteries.

    I absolutely love the photos of the robin building her nest. She did a great job. Maybe you will get a chance to watch her to teach the babies to fly once they are hatched and old enough. That is a marvelous sight. Last year I watched a sparrow teach her babies to fly from the ridge of the neighbor's house. It was incredible.

    Enjoy your day, my friend.

  4. Janet: Nicely captured as the Robin was very busy. I didn't see the nest last year untill the babies started callig for food.

  5. Janet, I always love your blogs, just too lazy to comment. LOL

  6. As if its not bad enough that you have robins and I don't, you have to go rub it in watching them build from your kitchen window!!
    Actually this is too cool:)

  7. Have never seen Mother Robin build her nest, twig, by twig. Must have taken a bit of patience to record. Sorry to read about the Doves. Could it be that Mother Nature had some influence on that? Mother Nature can be cruel and unforgiving at times, but it's probably for a good reason.

  8. In the spring I love to watch birds building their nests. We use to put out colored thread for them and then see if we could find the nest that used it. Sorry about the doves.

  9. We like to feed and watch the birds at our house and we have a lot of all kinds. I put out my pet hair when I brush the 2 cats and 2 dogs, along with my dryer vent debris and like someone else said-yarn, twine or anything else they might can use. It is fun watching for the stuff in the nests.


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