Friday, April 15, 2011

A Messy Nest


For several minutes on a day last week, I watched a Robin in the process of gathering material for a potential nesting site.  I first spotted her (I assume it was a female, but I could be mistaken)  at the edge of one of my overgrown day lily beds.  She was pulling dried grasses from between the newly emerged plants.  Some of the grasses, evidently, were still slightly rooted, because she would try to take off with a beak full only to be pulled back into the bed. It took her four attempts to finally pull that particular load free of the ground.

I watched in some amusement, and a great deal of sympathy, as she flew the 15 feet or so from the lily bed to the top of the large electrical breaker-box on the outside of my house, a flat site she had selected for the nest.  Plant material more than twice the length of her body trailed behind her.  From the looks of it (above) she was a first-time nest builder. I watched her as she nipped and tucked, but most of the grass was still trailing off the edge, and a considerable amount had already fallen onto the day lilies planted directly below the box.

I've not seen any activity there for the last couple of days and suspect that she has abandoned this particular location as being not particularly well suited to her needs.  I'll leave the area alone for a week or so then remove it, but leave the stuff somewhere in the yard that will be visible to a bird interested in acquiring secondhand building material.  I'll even include, at no additional cost, the green rubber band she seems to have incorporated. Do you see it?

I expect if I looked closely in the bushes and trees in my yard, I could find a few more nesting sites..

Tomorrow is also a day.

10 comments:

Moannie said...

We have a great deal of activity in our garden at this time of the year; Sparrows,Chaffinches, Ghastly Starlings, Collared Doves,Robins, Wrens,and occasionally Blue-tits. JP -who used to go out with the 'boys' hunting down anything that moved, now sits silently still, watching their antics, feeding and watering them and protecting the little ones from from the Starling Bully boys.

Love this post. XX

rhymeswithplague said...

I have it on good authority that your computer is on "automatic" and you have left for warmer climes, specifically, South Padre Island, and I just wanted to remind you that the message Melvin the cook found behind the Waffle House attached to a certain manila envelope, the message was attached to the envelope I mean, not that the Waffle House was, said that the author, who turned out to be Billy Ray Barnwell, had gone to South Padre, so I wanted to warn you, or at least alert you to the possibility, that you might run into him there.

I'm beginning to sound a lot like him. I guess it's an occupational hazard.

Oh, and come back soon!

TSannie said...

My! Your spring is so ahead of ours. Hope that robin found a good nesting spot!

StitchinByTheLake said...

We've got a sparrow nesting in the carport and she's a little neater than your robin; I guess she's more experienced. :) There are 7 eggs so we should hear lots of chirping soon. blessings, marlene

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Pat,

What a wonderful post! I had to enlarge your picture to see the rubberband, but I spotted it. I love the idea of a first time mommy bird trying her best to fumble through getting ready for her babies.

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend and that the weather leaves you alone.

Take care,

Kathy M.

cottonpicker said...

Hi Pat!!! Got tickled all over at your post...the way you described it was....well, I felt like I was sitting there with you watching!! Have a great day!

cottonpicker said...

Hi Pat!!! Got tickled all over at your post...the way you described it was....well, I felt like I was sitting there with you watching!! Have a great day!

cottonpicker said...

Hi Pat!!! Got tickled all over at your post...the way you described it was....well, I felt like I was sitting there with you watching!! Have a great day!

cottonpicker said...

Hi Pat!!! Got tickled all over at your post...the way you described it was....well, I felt like I was sitting there with you watching!! Have a great day!

Arkansas Patti said...

Gosh, I hope her mate is OK and she is not having to make do as a single momma. Shouldn't he be doing the nest building?
Hope you are OK after that nasty night.