Babies on Board…or Between Boards, Really

They’re here!

Mom and Pop Robin have chicks!

I peeked through the deck boards yesterday when Mom or Pop flew off the nest and saw this:

Robin egg and just-hatched chick.

Not hatched. Hatched!

I would have left the intrusion at that, but Mike and I have different levels of intrusion tolerance, and he went down below the deck for a better look and better pictures.

Last week, when I first peeked through the deck boards at the nest, I thought there were three blue eggs. I guess there were four.

Three just-hatched robin chicks and a blue egg.

Three chicks and an egg.

Are they adorably ugly or what?

I generally stay away from the nest—and keep Mike away—so we don’t disturb the robins. Mike is more inclined to go about his business as if the robins weren’t there, figuring that if the robins want to build under the deck, they have to deal with our use of the deck—or build somewhere else, dag nabbit. Coddle the robins and what do you get? More robins!

I figure they’ll be in and out quickly, so I can cut back my use of the deck for their peace of mind and breeding success. I like having them here, even though they eat the strawberries I grow and enlarge the holes in the soaker hose for easier drinking and more satisfying bird baths.

The first time we sat on the glider on the deck after the nest was built, the adult flew away and hollered at us from a nearby tree. The glider is only a few feet away from the nest. Eventually, though, it decided we weren’t going anywhere, and we weren’t out to harm it or the nest, so it returned to sitting on the eggs until Mike got up to come inside and walked over its head. A giant foot two inches overhead . . . yeah, I’d fly away, too!

I walk back and forth under the nest when I’m working in the yard, and they’re fine with that; they don’t budge. But I don’t let Mike park under the deck, and I keep the hose outside so I don’t have to open and close the garage door. It’s true: I go out of my way—and make Mike go out of his—to not disturb the robins. It doesn’t seem like a huge sacrifice or inconvenience.They’re going to have enough to do now, feeding four chicks, without having to worry about us, too.

Robin chick with open mouth.

Feed me!

When I first came to Alaska to work as a guide for Alaska Wildland Adventures, I helped drive two vehicles up the Al-Can. En route, we stopped several times to watch wildlife. After tiptoeing through brush for a better look at a moose in a pond, the moose noticed and seemed torn between putting more distance between us and sticking around to enjoy the yummy food on the bottom of the pond. I encouraged my fellow drivers to leave the moose alone and let it eat in peace. One of them looked at me with raised eyebrows and said, “You realize you’re coming to Alaska in order to show people animals like this, right?”

Yep. There’s a push/pull between wanting to see and share wildlife and wanting to not disturb it. I encouraged Mike to take these pictures, but I also encouraged him to be quick and as non-intrusive as possible, and I stayed inside to reduce the impact. The adults are still tending the nest, so I guess that will do.

Categories: Alaska

2 replies »