“Fly, you’re free!”
You’ve probably noticed that I have a critter thing going. That’s because I’m on my kitchen remodel diet and haven’t cooked anything in about a week. Tonight I’m going to cook up a pound of bacon for my husband and I just might write about it to satisfy all the foodies. Whatever.
But on to a post that’s for the birds. Looking out an upstairs window we noticed that a robin built a nest on a ledge above our upstairs porch. An adult bird sat on the nest for days as we waited for something to happen. And I thought my pregnancies were boring.
Actually, I found out from the Internet that robins lay one egg a day for three to five days and keeps the first eggs cool until all the eggs are laid. Then they warm all the eggs with their body heat. That’s to insure that the eggs will hatch at about the same time. They also rotate the eggs to keep them evenly warmed.
Hatchlings make an appearance at about 14 days, hatching in the order that they were laid. Then it’s the job of the parents to feed the little darlings about 40 times a day. Are you kidding! Fortunately, they don’t have to do this for 18 years. The birds are ready to leave the nest when they’re about 2 weeks old.
Here’s the group that began life on our ledge. They stood around for a day or two before three of them left. The explanation for the lagger is that it probably hatched last. The parents fed it for the extra day but it slept alone.
It’s all very neat and tidy and the pair of parents gets to do this two or three times in a season. About half the new birds will not make it through their first year, and those that do will be ready to parent the next spring.
It seems that birds have to do things rather perfectly in order to bring their hatchlings to maturity. It seems that they focus all their time and attention to this task. I wondered if robins ever flip out and became unstable parents. I checked this out on the Internet.
The only thing I found about wild birds and mental health were articles on why watching birds is good for the mental health of humans. I’ll probably re-think the value of multi-tasking. Perhaps I can also glean a few ideas about parenting.
The simple life? The bird’s nest is no more nor less than needed. Robins don’t build two story nests or nests with an added great room. I don’t think they compare their nest with other robin’s nests or nests of other birds. “For the birds” sounds like a pretty simple life.
Loveya – The Grandma
Artist, African hand drum student, yoga neophyte, and Grandmother of 22 or so grandchildren. I enjoy cooking and writing. I value good friends and quiet times for reading.