Watching this mama robin raise her babies was thrilling to see up close and personal. It all started one morning while watering, I happened upon a newly constructed nest in the middle of my hanging basket. Mama Robins are drawn here yearly to nest because of the many blueberry bushes planted on my small city lot. This mama robin had already taken over the bush as a food source for herself. Chasing away other birds who wanted to eat.
Robins are known for nesting near humans. They nest here yearly usually constructing nests in my dogwood tree or the porch awnings, but never in a hanging basket just outside my door! With each new blue egg appearing in her nest, my excitement grew.
I couldn’t let the plant die as mama had chosen this hanging basket for the cover it provided. I had to water the plant in a way that wouldn’t cause harm or disruption. This was done in mama’s absence and very slowly. I was slightly worried that the plant would die from my over cautious little watering or that my presence while watering would scare off the parents for good. Thankfully, neither happened.
As time passed, I took loads of pictures and learned something new! I had no idea that mama Robins fed baby birds--- BEES! I watched mama flying around the yard in search of food, then drop down in the flowers and pop back up on the fence post with something in her beak. “That’s not a worm. I wonder what that is in her mouth?” Knowing that I would only get a good view if I were to capture her on film with my zoom lens - I ran for the camera. Snap, snap, snap went the camera. A honeybee! Wow! It was a honeybee. It really blew my mind.
Poor mama looked shiny and new at the start of her nest and was now looking quite beat up and dull from all the work she was putting into raising her babies. Eventually, I woke one morning, to find an empty nest. Then I heard her. Mama, at first in the trees, then bushes, and lastly atop the telephone wires was chirping life savings instructions to her fledglings struggling to learn to fly. For days, she and daddy instructed. Eventually, the fledglings were flying.
The family appeared in the blueberry bushes where both mama and daddy taught the fledglings how to eat their food on their own. They continued to teach additional life skills to help the fledglings maneuver the chaos of the world.
Her trust in me for extra protection was taken seriously. When I heard the chirps of mama grow more intense, notifying me that her fledglings are vulnerable and unsheltered; I soothed her fears by relocating them to bushes for cover. This was a proud mama bird. I was grateful that she chose me to watch over her growing family.