American Robin – The Endless Quest for Food

A pair of American Robins built a nest on top of the electric meter at our house. For just over a month we watched (and worried) while the parents hunted for food (an endless quest), protected the nest, and raised their two chicks.

We were very careful to keep our distance for the entire time, but it soon became apparent that the robins did not fear us. Sometimes when I was waiting to photograph them, one of the robins would hop by within a few feet of me. On one occasion I put a few worms on the deck while the mother watched me. After I had returned to my camera, the female flew down and picked up the worms.

The nerve-wracking part came when the babies fledged. They were safe in the nest at supper time, and an hour or so later they were gone. I told The Car Guy that I wasn’t going to worry about them. Sure…

The next day, I spotted the male robin on the fence with a mouthful of food. It wasn’t hard to follow his movements as he flew into the caragana bush to feed one of the babies. There were hawks in the sky. A big grey cat stalked through the yard. I worried.

I didn’t see any sign of the robin family for another week or so, but was optimistic that they had simply moved next door where the food might be more plentiful. Then, the berries on one of our trees ripened, and all sorts of birds started to gorge – including two baby robins! My baby robins – or so I hoped.

Robins have an extremely high rate of nest fidelity. I know “nest fidelity” sounds like an investment group, but it actually means that robins regularly return to the same breeding site each season.
– Bird Watcher’s General Store –

Will momma robin try to build her nest on top of the electric meter again next year? If she does, can I resist the temptation to spend more time in the garden unearthing worms for them?

The Feather Files
Name: Turdus migratorius
Alias: American Robin
Migration: The Robin breeds north to Alaska, across Canada, and southward to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in the United States and into southern Mexico. Northern populations migrate.
Date Seen: June, 2016
Location: North of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Quest.



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