Sunday, May 27, 2018

More Images of Spring

I think of myself as an observer of nature, but have to admit that my neighbor Elaine first noticed the bird's nest over my porch light, asking if it was inhabited. Well, I had no idea, but a quick reach upwards with the cell phone and its built-in flash confirmed 3 robin eggs! Once revealed, then yes, I noticed the pair taking turns on it, always flying off as I went into or left the only door in use. Only one rainy night when arriving home did it stay in place while I walked directly under it. I avoided looking up and making eye contact, but it definitely stayed put! The photo at left was taken by leaving the camera and telephoto on a tripod, set to a 5 minute delay, then taking a photo every couple minutes so I had a few to choose from. At right, I used a fisheye lens and a flash to light up the nest to get a "bird's eye" view. I also note that the light in the porch light is a compact fluorescent, so even though it is on 24/7, it doesn't heat up the nest and hard-cook the eggs!

So when I left on my week-long road trip to the Carolinas, there were 3 eggs. Once back, I was excited to check the new "housemates" and found a 4th egg had been laid. No action for a few days, but finally, on Saturday the 19th, spotted what looked like a blob of mud - hatching time! Took a full day for the 4th one to hatch.

I didn't really see much action going on - the robin pair were a little more protective, staying VERY close as I came or went, but never really attacked me directly to try driving me off. I did not see any feeding activity the 2 days before I left, but I did document a couple of the nestings with the macro lens before I left Tuesday. Not particularly cute, but full of interesting details! Interesting that the eyes aren't open yet, but eye slits have appeared. Neck seems all tendons and transparent skin...

Wikipedia claims they'll fly in 2 weeks, so don't expect to find any traces of them in a month or 6 weeks when I'm hoping to return... It would have been fun to photograph the "captives" before they fly away, but thems the breaks!

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