A backyard secret

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This wooden planter was made by our son about thirty years ago. It’s hanging on the fence near our patio and from a distance it looks empty. However it contains a special surprise.

wooden container hanging on fence

Inside is a meticulously-built robin’s (Turdus migratorius) nest and four beautiful eggs. The nest is an amazing construction of backyard mud, grasses, moss, vines, etc. If you enlarge the image, can you find the old maple seed? How the female can do this with a beak and two feet astounds me.

four robin eggs in nest (Turdus migratorius)The female currently spends most of her time keeping the eggs warm, taking short breaks now and then. The male stays nearby. It’s another example of nature’s amazing miracles. We feel privileged to watch the goings and comings, and we’re wishing them the best of luck.

14 thoughts on “A backyard secret”

  1. That is sure a better location than on top of garage coach lights! That happened here a few years ago; I was quite aggravated, but the granddaughters were thrilled.

  2. We had a nest of 3 Robin eggs in our upstairs window box. We watched them each go from egg to fledgling and now I hear the babies in the yard as their parents teach them how to hunt for food. They keep well hidden in the garden. This is one of my favorite events in summer, to watch the bird families grow.

    1. Sounds like you had a birds-eye view, Suzanne. And I agree with you about the enjoyment of watching the bird families throughout the summer.

  3. Neat! Those blue eggs are richer looking than if they were of pure gold
    and your sharing how Brian’s basket became their home answers a “how-
    can-I-make-use-of-this ” question that I asked myself (again!) just a couple
    of days ago when cleaning in the carport area. Many years ago a friend
    found and gave me a similar (except deteriorating and bottomless) basket
    she found in a field because she knew I’d love it. I did! The only problem
    has always been that I lacked vision of how to make use of it. Now, I know!
    I can make minor repairs; fasten a piece of scrap lattice (that I just happen
    to have) on the fifth side; place a small piece of solid wood in one corner;
    hang it and put out a “RENT FREE” sign (language-accessible = a few
    scattered seeds on solid area). Maybe I too will get some tenants! Thank
    You for sharing you succesful housing project! 🙂

  4. Betty,
    I was lucky, I got to watch a Robin build a nest. My bedroom window is a little lower than my bed and about 2 feet away. I heard a noise in the window , she was starting a nest. It starts with a dab of mud and a few sticks added on top of that. It took her about three days of work , mostly in the morning. It was amazing to watch her construct the mud middle layer , a beak full of mud at a time, put it in and around in a circle she would go patting with her feet. A pro potter she was with the mud. I pulled the blind down when she laid her eggs,afraid she would leave. She had a successful brood. I don’t know how she figured out the days it would rain,so she could fly down and get the mud. She picked a safe place. The window is on the second story and I couldn’t put down the window down, I had a screen in it , she got the warmth of the house on cool days. That was a very special gift to me from Mother Nature. Thanks for your beautiful pictures
    Doris Francis

    1. And thank you, Doris, for your great description of the nest building process. Yes, quite a gift to be able to observe it and the raising of the brood so clearly. I appreciate you sharing it.

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