Thursday, June 12, 2008

Robin's Egg Blues

High: 72° F
Low: 46° F
Conditions: Sunny and very breezy.
Ari has always had a soft spot in her heart for robins. Maybe it’s because her eyes are just about robin-egg blue. Or because spotting an early flock of robins was one of her first acts as a caninaturalist. Regardless, she always seems to give these lovely birds more than their due each year.

I wasn’t all that surprised, then, when she found a nest of robin eggs earlier this week. What did surprise me, though, was where she found that nest: namely, on the forest floor.

Initially, I assumed that the nest had somehow fallen from a nearby tree. But after taking a closer look, we both discovered that it had been built here—deliberately wedged into a rotting log just off one of our favorite walking trails.

We’ve passed by a few times since first discovering the nest. Each time we do, we flush mom, who nevertheless hangs out nearby and returns to her nest as soon as we are a safe distance away. By all accounts, she seems like an attentive mother. So what we can't figure out, then, is why on earth she would pick such an awful place to try to raise a family. She and her eggs have already had to endure the curious muzzle of a young dog. I suspect more expert predators will find it as well—particularly once the kids have hatched.

Without any answer that we can see, we thought we’d throw the question out to our readers. Have you ever seen deliberate ground nesting by a robin? Is our new friend on to something and taking a page from upland ground birds like the grouse, or is she just a naïve first-time nest builder?

Yours in caninaturalist inquiry,


Steve, Kat, & Wilbur said...

You mean Ari didn't eat the eggs? I don't know if I could have resisted! They look so tasty!


dmitri said...

Yes, all the coyotes where I live enjoy robin's-egg omelets, don't they? Amazing self-restraint on Ari's part! Or just narcissistic thinking?

The Daily Echo said...

We don't quite understand how birds think. Some Mommy bird built a next underneath the mounting block where our girl rides her horse. Now they can't mount there and when they ride past, the Mommy bird gets real mad and dives at them. They hope her eggs hatch and she teaches her babies how to fly real soon!

Khyra The Siberian Husky said...

My mom has always found robins to be khute little aviators!

Yes, the eggs soooo match Ari's eyes khwite well!!

One of the pups Mom transported on Sunday reminded us of Ari - she was a furry beeWOOtiful gal too!!!


Gus and Louie said...

We think she is just copying the grouse!!!

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus and Louie

Gunner said...

Ari, what a cool find!
I love robins and see lots of em here when I go for my walks with ma.

And man you're so good for not disturbing the eggs!


Cynthia Blue said...

Amazing, it seems like such a dangerous place for a nest. My friend has a California Quail sitting on 12 eggs in a corner of her back yard, safe away from her own dogs, but still on the ground. My friend is keeping watch over them.

Kathiesbirds said...

I don't know but I'll be watching your blog to find out! Love those blue robins eggs! Hope the babies get to hatch!

Me & my puppies said...

That is unusual. I have never seen this before, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened. Can mama fly ok? Perhaps she can't reach higher ground?

Sandpiper said...

How interesting! I've never heard of such a thing. I'm looking forward to a follow-up on the eggs!

Kodak the Eskie said...

I like to watch birdies too. Your eyes really do match those Robin eggs. I hope they survive all the animals out there. I wonder why they built it on the ground. Do you think it fell?

Hugs, Kodak

Twinville said...

Wow Ari, your beautiful eyes really do match those little blue eggs.

My ranch mama was reading Sugar Creek Stuff's blog and saw that a little bird had built a nest and laid her eggs in her husband's shoe.

Thankfully for the little bird, the husband appreciates wildlife and will be wearing anotehr pair of shoes until the hatchlings fledge off and leave his shoe filled with only twigs, leaves and animal fur.

And hey! I'm proud of you for not eating those delicious looking eggs.
I'm only 6 months old, so everything interesting ends up in my mouth one way or the other.....


of Laughing Orca Ranch

John Theberge said...

Hopefully a cat or raccoon or some other critter like that doesn't find the nest before the babies fledge.

Eve said...

Hi guys! Well, I'm going to say first timer! I have a robin on her second batch under my deck just a few feet off the ground. You never know with these guys, hope it all works out.
Hey you remember that pretty orange flower I posted a few days ago...the mystery flower...well its a nemesia! Proven Winners has some, many colors.
Have a great Friday!

Ferndoggle said...

That's strange. I don't think I've ever seen a nest on the ground. Our dogs would NOT have left it alone.


Sitka and Tia's BLAWG! said...

WOW Ari! That is a very cool find there! Can't wait for photos when they hatch!

Anonymous said...

That's really interesting! I've never heard of such. I fear greatly for the babies.

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Interesting question. We haven't a clue but we are interested in the puzzling place she built her nest.

purrs and tail wags

Gussie said...

A friend of ours has found eggs buried carefully underground. Current theory is that it's the foxes, but we have no proof...

The Army of Four said...

Wow. Maybe your mama Robin needs to take building lessons from ours! Or maybe yours just doesn't like high-rise condos? I hope the little future birdies stay safe!
Play bows,

Holly said...

Maybe you can put up a little fence around it to keep the preditors out, and the babies safe?


Pippa said...

Ari is very clever to find the pretty eggs. I like to watch the birds on my terrace but there are no eggs. I don't know what I would do if I found some, I really like my eggs cooked in a nice omelette.


Kapp pack said...

Very interesting.....I hope they are ok once they are hatch...

WOo woo, KA

Mary said...

It will be interesting to see if they survive.

Lorenza said...

We've never seen that! Sure is a strange place to build a nest! We hope they are going to be ok!
Ari has beautiful eyes!}
Kisses and hugs

Cody, THE Fussy Pot Pants said...

Well that's how the term 'bird brain' came about. We doggies can't understand their behaviour.

Pssst, I have to say u have remarkable self restraint! I would have nibbled on one just to try..

Or may be not.

umekotyan said...

Good evening Ari.
The color of bird's egg is beautiful.
A natural, green protective coloration has been.
It is mysterious.
It is surprised by the natural law to continue the life.
Please walk taking care about one's feet when you go on a hike.
Wonderful intersection on weekend with nature. :)

from loved ume tyan

JB's Big World said...

They look like easter eggs! And oh my, why would a bird build a next on the ground? You must go back to check on the eggs.
Oh,I have a question about sparrows on my blog that maybe Ari might know the answer to...since you are very smart!

Island Rambles Blog said...

they say that robins build their nest high or very low according to the temperature of the area, they also alter the amount of mud they use and so forth according to the temperature...there is much we do not know about nature that we would just marvel at if we knew...a mystery!!!

JB's Big World said...

Thanks for the link to your favorite site. We think it is odd too that the babies are being fed by their mothers so long. We have seen it a lot, not just this set of photos. Odd. Maybe the sparrows are taking after humans!

Maverick the Pirate said...

Harrrrrr Ari
we have only seen hatched robin eggs Harrrr.
Cap'n Maverick the Pirate

Holly said...

Beautiful Ari, I have given you an award. Please check my blog!