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Wildlife Journal 2007

Media Page May 2

 

May 2, 2007

 All was calm and I was at my desk with the live X10 feed from the nest on my office TV monitor. I heard the squawking  alarm from the female on the nest as she abruptly left . In an instant the intruder briefly showed itself right at the nest, but was quickly driven away by both the male and female Robin Parents. At the time I did not know what it was but looking out of my office second floor window down onto the walkway and the holly. I witnessed both parents flogging in and around the base of the Holly and then suddenly scampering down the walk and away from that commotion with breakneck speed was the culprit -- a chipmunk. So once again the learning process never stops, as previously I had not considered the chipmunk to be a threat to the nest, but now realize why with so many dangers to these birds, that only 40 percent of nest starts ever survive to fledglings.

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Meanwhile in the back yard a few unexpected photo opportunities presented themselves which I had been looking for  to add to the backyard wildlife pages.

 

Box Turtle

 

 

Salamander

House Finch

 

Indigo Bunting

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Did You Know:   The Mother to be Robin builds the nest, in 3 to 6 days ,of twigs and grass mixed  with mud. She mixes the mud with her feet and then moulds the nest with her body. The incubation period for robins is 12 to 14 days. Robins usually lay 3 to 5 eggs

 
Did You Know:  At first Robin chicks  are nearly totally naked with reddish-pinkish skin that is transparent enough to see to some degree the internal organs. They quickly develop a soft gray down covering and feathers begin to grow within a couple of days of hatching.

 
Did You Know:  Robins feed their Chicks up to 100 times every day thru dusk but feeding is not done during the night.

 
Did You Know:  The Diet of baby robins consist of earthworms, cut worms, caterpillars, moths, and other insects.  60 percent of Mature robins diet consist of fruit and berries. Flocks, consisting of hundreds  of Robins  can strip the berries from trees and shrubs in a short time in what appears to be a feeding frenzy.

 
Did You Know:  The incubation and nesting process from eggs to fledglings takes place within in a period of 30 to 40 days. Usually Robins will start a second brood or clutch and sometimes a third. The Female will lay the eggs and start the incubation process while the Male stays with the Fledglings, from the first nest, for about two more weeks after they Fledge. When the fledglings no longer require parents care, they may roost with other adult robins. The male then joins in the care for the new brood.

 
Did You Know:  Robin chicks and all songbird chicks are born helpless and naked. This is called the Altricial species. This species lays fewer eggs and usually off the ground and away from many predators, plus the male will help feed and care for the chicks. Chickens, ducks and geese, lay many more eggs which hatch on the ground but incubation takes much longer and when they are hatched, they are not helpless but more mature than their Altricial cousins. They are of the Precocial species.

 
Did You Know:  Robins are usually among the first birds to sing in the morning and the among the last songs heard in the Evening.

 
Did You Know:  When searching for worms, Robins are seen  tilting their head and looking toward the ground. While it appears they are listening for the underground worms they are actually looking for slight movements in the turf signaling a worm or insect.  Robins are monocular (use one eye at a time)

 
Did You Know:  The US Federal Migratory Bird Law has a statue which  forbids the shooting of robins. This statue went into effect in 1913. Prior to that robins  could be and were hunted as game birds.

 
Did You Know:  The American Robin belongs to the Thrush family; the Mocking bird, Cat-bird and Brown Thrush, or Thrasher, as well as the Bluebird all are members of this family.

 
Did You Know:  Young Robins usually are able to leave the nest in 14 or 15 days after hatching. At first they are just able to hop and flutter but not really fly very well. The male parent continues to feed and train these fledglings for another two weeks until they are self sufficient.

 
Did You Know:  When danger approaches  the parent robins will attempt to lead the offenders away from the nest and the young robins will lie perfectly still. If the offender continues to come closer the robins may indeed dive at the enemy and continue their alarm cries.

 
Did You Know:  The female parent will continue to incubate (cover) the chicks at night for the first few days, and if there is bad weather. Later she will roost very close but not covering the chicks at night. The male parent may roost with other male robins in a nearby common roosting place at night.

 
Did You Know:  Scientific name :Turdus migratorius; Robins show considerable courage and anxiety for their young, and are a model  of propriety and teamwork for keeping house and  being concerned with the care of their offspring.

 
Did You Know:  The robins' eggs are vulnerable at first and then the young chicks have many enemies. Enemies  include the domestic cat and snakes. Also red and grey squirrel, chipmunks, hawks, crows, blue jays  and raccoons . And of course and sometimes unintended, MAN.

 

Wildlife visiting our Louisville Kentucky Backyard

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