Nature at Its Closest

Geek Culture

This spring and summer, we’ve gotten to watch two clutches of American Robins grow up literally just outside our front door.

Even though these birds are ridiculously familiar, seeing their development close-up has been

Image: John BoothImage: John Booth

Image: John Booth

incredibly neat. It’s gotten us to do a little bit of fun research along the way, and we’ve learned about pin feathers and feeding and when their eyes open and how long they hang around with their parents. Anticipating the birds’ changes and checking up on them every afternoon became a quick ritual.

The nest is above our porch light, just high enough that I’ve been able to hold up a camera and shoot blind from about 18 inches away without disturbing the hatchlings too much. (I’ve only shot once per day, and the mother makes a fuss and flaps off into a nearby tree anytime the door opens anyway, so it’s not like we’ve been chasing her away intentionally.)

We’re estimating they’re nearing two weeks old at this point, so their day-to-day growth has become less visible. I’ve collected the last 13 days’ worth of photos here. We’re figuring the birds will be leaving the nest soon, which means they’ll be wandering the yard and I’ll have to be extra careful mowing. Or maybe even just give that a rest for a bit – you know, for the birds’ sake.

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