Weekend Birding: The Nesting Shelf
The Robin’s Nest
A few weeks ago on Wordless Wednesday, I posted a photo of an American Robin sitting on a nest she had built on a “nesting shelf” on the side of my garage. I put this up years ago and until this summer, the birds ignored it.
Several species of birds will use a shelf including Doves, Blue Jays, and Phoebes to name a few. The plans to build a shelf are free and available at 50Birds.
A Successful Nest
I kept watch on the nest from a distance and avoided going on that side of the garage so I wouldn’t scare them away or alert predators to the presence of a nest. After a few weeks, I noticed the parents were delivering food and could just barely see a few tiny beaks popping up. There were at least three, possibly four nestlings.
After about 14 days the nestlings are ready to fledge. This is the last one. The parents are still feeding him and here he accepts a delivery of a large green insect. He kept standing on the nest and flapping his wings. You can see his little feet gripping the edge of the nest. I knew it wouldn’t be long before he tried to fly out.
Leaving the Nest
In the time it took me to walk around the house to the other side of the garage, the baby had flown a short distance to a cable wire. Flying isn’t so easy though, especially when you don’t have much of a tail. His next attempt to fly landed him on ground.
The parents were always nearby, still feeding and watching over him and the other fledglings who had wandered into the safety of the backyard. They will spend the next week or so teaching the youngsters how find food and water and avoid danger.
The fledglings are very trusting and vulnerable for the first few days and often look like a bird in need of assistance. But if you hide and watch carefully, you will see the parents come back and tend to them.
Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy. Visit her blog to see more great photos.
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