Tag Archives: american robin

Spec nest?

[Update 5.25.09] She’s gone and left two eggs in the nest. Husband tossed some balls off the roof and I heard that they landed very close to the nest. I suspect one landed on the nest because one of the eggs has a crack along the side. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted.

[Update] She’s sitting on the nest now, so hopefully we’ll have a brood. I can just barely see her from the kitchen window. Yay.

Robin with flower
Robin with flower
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In the rose of Sharon bush

Last week I looked out the back window and saw a robin hopping around the back yard carrying what looked like a bunch of white paper in her beak. She hopped across the back yard, flew to a rose of Sharon bush and then onto the branch of the ginkgo tree, all the while holding onto the wad of paper. Then I thought that perhaps she was carrying a white azalea flower instead of paper — it looked the right size and we have a few white azalea bushes in the yard.

I posted it on twitter and got a few fun responses.

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A nearly hidden robin -- look for the white bit. That's her with her flower.

About an hour or so later I looked outside and saw the robin again — she still had the azalea blossom in her beak. This time I saw her fly into the pink azalea bush and I suspected she was building a nest there and this was a new azalea blossom. I looked up robin nests on All About Birds, but saw no mention of robins using flowers to build their nests, although it said they might incorporate paper into their nests sometimes.

I posted on twitter again and someone wondered if it was stuck in her throat or maybe she was going to prom.

The next morning Dean mentioned that a robin was hanging out in the bush that kept coming back. He thought she might be building a nest. Sure enough, there she was — this time bringing long bits of grass with her each return trip.

a decorated nest
a decorated nest

That afternoon I couldn’t stand the suspense. I wanted to see if the nest had white azalea blooms in it. I waited until I was sure the robin was elsewhere and peeked in the far side of the bush — I could barely make out the nest, but it did look like it had some bits of white in it. I tip-toed around to the side nearest the nest and wasn’t disappointed. She had, indeed, used some white flowers to pretty up her nest.

I think this is the same robin that built a nest under the eave of the neighbor’s porch but abandoned it the day after mother’s day. I hope that she does raise a brood in her decorated nest, but I’m not all that hopeful. She returned the day after I took the photo of the nest, but I’ve not seen her since. Mabye she just likes building nests with no intention of living in them. I’ve heard of spec houses, but never spec nests.

Unfortunately, although the pink azalea bush looked like a great place to build a nest when it was in full flower — it might prove to be a poor choice once the flowers are gone because it is not hidden as well as it could be and is quite low to the ground.

[Apologies for the poor quality of the photographs. I took most of them from inside, through a window.]