I’m a little slow in my reporting, the chicks have been hatched for about two weeks. They seem to double in size almost every day, and barely fit into the nest. Momma Robin seems to have grudgingly accepted our presence, and the chicks aren’t bothered by us at all. If we scratch the screen behind their nest or make soft noises, they’ll usually open their beaks and point them skyward, hoping to be fed.
I have to say, as cute and cuddly as most baby animals are to me (think lions, tigers, bears, cats, dogs, etc.), baby birds the first few weeks are downright homely. Faces only a mother could love. In another week or so I expect them to attain at least moderate cuteness, because they are starting to resemble actual birds.
We have a second robin’s nest in another clematis against our garden fence, but my wife only notices that nest when she’s gardening and spooks Mom from her perch. I think there are at least three chicks in that nest, but they must have hatched a few days or even a week later, because the nest is still a mushy mass of feathered globs that could be anywhere from two to four babies.
Watching Mom feed her chicks is fascinating. We all know from grade school science that mother birds often pre-digest the food they’ve caught for the babies, but it’s amazing how far Mom crams her beak down the gullets of the chicks to get the food to their tummies. The little guys remind me of sword swallowers. And a popular meal seems to be worm larvae. My wife saw Momma Robin perched on the edge of the nest with a mouthful of food that first appeared to be brown grass, but when that “grass” started squirming, so did my wife’s stomach!
Pics of our lil’ darlings from proud foster grandparents (apologies for the quality, but it’s tough taking pictures at an angle through a window with (sometimes) moving targets:
What little slice of nature do you have in your backyard/neighborhood?