Sunday, March 29, 2009

Robins - The Beginning

Robins are Science. And very common in Bessemer.

Outside the porch window is a Camellia bush in which a Robin is intent on raising a family. From inside the house, I can photograph. I hope to improve my technique over the next few weeks. I have a difficult time focusing on the dark subject in the shadows. but I have an idea. Until then, these less than excellent pictures will have to do.

Right now the mom is working on the nest. She's in the center of this photo, with a beak full of grass.

The next three shots are just of the bird sitting on the nest, sort of trying it out for size. As I've watched, she brings straw or grass and places it in the nest, then hops in and sort of packs it down. she will shift a little, then content, it seems, head out gather more supplies just below the nest. These pictures were taken Saturday, and today she is continuing in the same manner.

Robins are often called the first sign of Spring, but they were here during the depth of winter, being recorded here in Bessemer during the Great Backyard Bird Count.

Robins are not innocent backyard birds, however. Over the next few weeks I will share what one source calls "the dark side of Robins." In this picture she is sort of flapping it seems to press the grass down into the nest.

Check back often to follow the Robins, and to learn more about their natural history. Fact for today: Robins, like many common birds, suffer a mortality rate of about 80% per year. Source: The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds. 1977 Edition.

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