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Nesting robin on my front porch

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Old Wednesday 20th June 2018, 18:42   #1
RaeBee
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Nesting robin on my front porch

Hello fellow birders!
First time on this forum, but I spend a lot of time watching the birds in my backyard and at a local wildlife preserve. I live in the Pacific NW, USA so we have a great variety of birds right now.

About a week ago I was watering my hanging flower basket on my front porch and noticed a beautiful little nest (empty) right in the middle. My husband had just moved it from another location and didn't notice it before the move. I assumed mama wouldn't be able to find it, but she did. This morning she took up residence and I watched her lay her eggs out my front window. Papa bird has done a few fly-byes but she is ignoring him.

She's now just sitting on them. I've been working around the front porch flowerbeds this morning but haven't ventured any closer, and she hasn't budged. I'm willing to sacrifice the flower basket (even though it was my Mother's Day gift). I watered it when the nest was empty but don't want to disturb her now.

What can I expect? Do I need to stay completely off the porch and let her have her space? How long is the incubation period? This is the first time I've ever been this close, so it's pretty exciting! I can see her out my window (about 3 feet away) but she doesn't seem to be bothered by my incessant peering out. Thanks for any info and advice on the nesting mama!
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Old Wednesday 20th June 2018, 19:11   #2
RaeBee
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So now she's been gone for a bit - at least an hour. I was reading that they only lay one egg a day (for up to 4 total), but rarely leave the nest for longer than 5-10 minutes. Maybe that's after they lay all the eggs and are sitting on them? I had to go and carefully peek in the nest (without touching it) and there is one beautiful blue egg in there.

I'm becoming obsessed with this little bird. I hope she comes back!

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Old Wednesday 20th June 2018, 21:06   #3
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So now she's been gone for a bit - at least an hour. I was reading that they only lay one egg a day (for up to 4 total), but rarely leave the nest for longer than 5-10 minutes. Maybe that's after they lay all the eggs and are sitting on them? I had to go and carefully peek in the nest (without touching it) and there is one beautiful blue egg in there.

I'm becoming obsessed with this little bird. I hope she comes back!
Yes, that’s right, continuous incubation doesn’t normally start until the clutch is complete (or nearly so). Birds are particularly prone to desert early in the breeding cycle so I would stay away from the nest as much as possible at this stage.
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Old Wednesday 20th June 2018, 21:12   #4
RaeBee
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Yes, that’s right, continuous incubation doesn’t normally start until the clutch is complete (or nearly so). Birds are particularly prone to desert early in the breeding cycle so I would stay away from the nest as much as possible at this stage.
Thank you! I'll keep away. Was thinking of roping off the steps to the porch so nobody else inadvertently disturbs her.

I've saw a few broken blue shells a few weeks ago, so some critter was on the prowl. We have squirrels in the area, so perhaps they were the culprits. I don't normally see them on the front porch, though, so hopefully mama robin will be successful this time.
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Old Wednesday 20th June 2018, 22:47   #5
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Fingers crossed for this Robin family and for your relief

Hi there RaeBee and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum

We’re glad you found us and please join in wherever you like
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Old Tuesday 31st July 2018, 16:53   #6
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Smile Update on robin family

In my original post I told the tale of the Mama robin building a nest in my hanging basket and how exciting that was! I figured I'd come back and report on the robin family and how it all went.

Mama kept coming back to the nest and laying eggs until there were 3. Then she was pretty comfy sitting on those eggs for the next 2 weeks. I kept watch on her from my close vantage point - about 3 feet away from my living room window. She got really used to me and stopped flying off when I opened the blinds in the morning. Some days we'd just sit there looking at each other and pondering the world.

Daddy robin was usually hanging around in my yard nearby. One day a stellars jay flew onto the lawn. Mama robin flew right at it squawking and chased it away right quick. Then she sat on top of the arbor and scolded the Daddy for about 5 minutes. It was quite obvious that's what she was doing. He just sat there and took it without a peep. It was hilarious!

Pretty soon the babies were born and both Mama and Daddy were busy bringing them food. So fun to watch them grow! We kept the front yard watered pretty heavy so they'd have lots of chances to get worms. I also stopped filling my bird feeders so the jays would stay away and they did (for the most part). Every so often, when the adults were out getting food, I'd sneak up onto the porch and take a quick picture and pour a small amount of water into my hanging basket (away from the nest). That didn't seem to upset the routine at all. I also roped off my front porch so no deliveries would be left there.

One morning I opened the blinds and the babies were really active. I just KNEW this was the day. I came back a few minutes later and one of them was gone. Once that first baby flew then Mama never came back to the nest again. So, I grabbed my phone and just watched and I was actually able to video both of the remaining fledglings leaving the nest. So special!

I was reluctant to let my dogs outside right away, but I think the robin family is hanging out in my neighbors yard. Lots of shrubbery and more places to hide for the little ones. I haven't seen them again but I've heard some chirping going on from next door.

I deadheaded my hanging basket, watered really good with Miracle Grow and it perked back up in just one day. I was a little sad to see my little robin family leave, but was so grateful for this experience! Just a lovely blessing!
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Old Wednesday 1st August 2018, 11:20   #7
Fraulein ash
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What a cool story! I hope one day I get to see a family of birds grow up on my property. We're building woodpecker houses right now for next year as they are my favorite birds. :)

My friend's dad had a robin's nest in his bushes and didn't know it. They found it when they were trimming the bush and the nest was moved to the corner of the porch. I am really hoping the mother doesn't abandon the three eggs due to the human scent on her nest!
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Old Thursday 2nd August 2018, 13:02   #8
birdmeister
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Originally Posted by RaeBee View Post
In my original post I told the tale of the Mama robin building a nest in my hanging basket and how exciting that was! I figured I'd come back and report on the robin family and how it all went.

Mama kept coming back to the nest and laying eggs until there were 3. Then she was pretty comfy sitting on those eggs for the next 2 weeks. I kept watch on her from my close vantage point - about 3 feet away from my living room window. She got really used to me and stopped flying off when I opened the blinds in the morning. Some days we'd just sit there looking at each other and pondering the world.

Daddy robin was usually hanging around in my yard nearby. One day a stellars jay flew onto the lawn. Mama robin flew right at it squawking and chased it away right quick. Then she sat on top of the arbor and scolded the Daddy for about 5 minutes. It was quite obvious that's what she was doing. He just sat there and took it without a peep. It was hilarious!

Pretty soon the babies were born and both Mama and Daddy were busy bringing them food. So fun to watch them grow! We kept the front yard watered pretty heavy so they'd have lots of chances to get worms. I also stopped filling my bird feeders so the jays would stay away and they did (for the most part). Every so often, when the adults were out getting food, I'd sneak up onto the porch and take a quick picture and pour a small amount of water into my hanging basket (away from the nest). That didn't seem to upset the routine at all. I also roped off my front porch so no deliveries would be left there.

One morning I opened the blinds and the babies were really active. I just KNEW this was the day. I came back a few minutes later and one of them was gone. Once that first baby flew then Mama never came back to the nest again. So, I grabbed my phone and just watched and I was actually able to video both of the remaining fledglings leaving the nest. So special!

I was reluctant to let my dogs outside right away, but I think the robin family is hanging out in my neighbors yard. Lots of shrubbery and more places to hide for the little ones. I haven't seen them again but I've heard some chirping going on from next door.

I deadheaded my hanging basket, watered really good with Miracle Grow and it perked back up in just one day. I was a little sad to see my little robin family leave, but was so grateful for this experience! Just a lovely blessing!
Glad the robins fledged successfully! Sounds like you were careful around the nest but at the same time didn't do too much. Thanks for posting this update.
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