May 3, 2010

amazing nature

Everyone knows a Robin when they see one. They are one of the few birds that everyone can identify. I remember reading a book about Robin's when I was a little girl. When the Robin's return we all know spring is here and we can celebrate!!
Robins breed in the spring shortly after returning to their summer range (north) from their winter range (south). The breeding season extends from April through July. American robins are one of the first birds to begin laying eggs and normally have two or three sets of young, or broods, in each breeding season. The cup-shaped nest is built by the female, who builds the outer foundation with long coarse grass, twigs, paper, and feathers woven together. She lines the inner bowl with mud, smearing it with her breast and later adding fine grass or other soft material to cushion the eggs. The nest can be located on the ground or high up in trees, but most commonly 5 to 15 feet above ground in a dense bush, in the crotch of trees, or on window ledges or other human structures. All that is needed for the nest is a firm support and protection from rain. From 3 to 5 eggs are laid in each clutch. You can learn more about Robin's by clicking HERE 
 Eggs are incubated by the female. After about 14 days of incubation the eggs hatch. She continues to feed and brood the chicks while they are very young. When the nestlings become older the female broods them only at night or during bad weather. Baby birds leave the nest about 2 weeks after they have hatched. All babies from a clutch leave the nest within 1 day of each other. Even after leaving the nest, the young birds follow their parents and beg food from them. They remain under cover on the ground during this time. About two weeks after fledgling, young robins become capable of sustained flight. One wild bird lived to be almost 14 years old, though most robins in the wild will live about 2 years. Only about one quarter of all young  robins will survive the summer in which they were born.
These amazing photographs were taken by my friend Stephanie who had the privilege of watching nature unfold on her back porch. Brave Mama bird made her nest in a clay flower pot right on Stephanie's back porch!  Her adorable children got to welcome these beautiful baby birds into the world! Thanks for the wonderful images Steph!! 


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