musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Leann & the Purple Petunia Nesters

This is my friend Leann's story about some birds that came to visit this spring. . .

It all started when Leann was minding her own business, watering her petunias at her Pennsylvania home when. . . .

June 8: Yes, that is a nest in the center of my hanging basket - discovered when I went to water the flowers.

 Robins were planning luxury accomodations!

June 11:  We have an egg!  Mama just flew away before I could get her pic nesting. 

Guess I'll have to start using another door.  I was surprised we got this far, as I found the nest a few days ago when I took down the hanging to basket to water. Then I was concerned whether I hung the basket back up the same way so that she could recognize the nest, or whether my simply discovering it, without touching it, was enough for them to abandon the nest. So I'll keep my fingers crossed.

June 12: And now there are two. 

You'd think I was a kid ... but I am so excited getting to watch this so up close. I have learned so much about robins since my surprise discovery. Like who knew it is an egg a day? Duh?!?!

June 13:  And now there are three! 

Although looking at the size of the momma bird ... OUCH!!!  The color of the eggs are so vivid. They do look like Easter eggs! Only, until this week, robins egg blue was a different color for me. Never again. 

The photos are just cell phone pics. No artistry, as I hold the phone up in the air, upside down over the hanging basket of wave petunias, and shoot blindly, hoping I'll pick up something in the shot. Otherwise, I don't have a clue what is going on in the nest. I haven't taken the basket down since I discovered the nest.

June 15:  It looks like she is stopping at three. And spending downtime building a wall of flowers to protect her privacy. 

Look carefully. The individual plants have been lifted up and intertwined, creating a screen around part of the nest.  This experience fills me with wonder and also leaves me feeliing silly, worrying as to whether the nest has been abandoned or whether the mother is sitting enough to hatch the eggs.

June 26:  Looks like hatching might be starting (at 10:27 a.m.). 

It appears one hatched (at 9:41 pm).  Papa robin is being aggressively protective. He goes nuts when I come out the door.

June 28:  Yesterday, three blobs. 

Today, something that looks like a bird! 

So cool! I speak and they raise their heads and open their beaks wide. 

Reminds me of Are You My Mother? 

Wish my cell did stop action or time lapse photography.

July 1:  Hungry!

July 2:  Hot! Even for the hatchlings!

July 3:  No noise yet. Their eyes are just opening. But they haven't found their voices. They just open their mouths WIDE. 

But they'll be chirping soon, I'm sure.

July 5:  Look at those wings.  Getting more than crowded.

Always the mother, I even started buying earthworms from a fishing supply so mama could dig in the box and pull out worms with more ease. Now they are learning to hunt on their own.

July 9:  OMG, we're living the Angry Birds . My 3 little ones just fledged, and as my son opened the screen door to the porch, unaware, the adult robins dive bombed him, screaming (I even screeched and grabbed my 6'9" kid back in the house. Never imagined robins would reenact a Hitchcock movie!). As adorable and heartwarming as it is watching them hop and fall, I feel a bittersweetness that they are now almost gone. What an experience.   I learned so much and I really got attached to those little guys. 

July 10:   It really felt like 'empty nest' Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

However, I have since seen them hopping around and trying to fly under their parents' supervision.

A Big Thanks goes out to Leann for letting me share her photos and story with everyone.  A bigger thanks goes out to her for having those beautiful purple petunias that inspired Mr. and Mrs. Robin to nest where we could 'watch.'

Have a Purple Petunia kind of day ~

Robin Z

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