I discovered a robins' nest above our front door on May 5th, 2014.
On the morning of July 9th, I opened our front door to get the daily newspaper, and not one but two robins flew out of the nest above our light fixture, chattering and complaining at the top of their lungs.
If you look closely at this picture, which I'll admit is very poor quality, you can see two adult robin heads right in the centre, against the corner of the wall of our entranceway.
Was it Mama Robin and one of her first babies? Or Mama and Papa Robin? Or Papa Robin and an older baby? I have no idea.
Why didn't someone warn me that robins typically have two, sometimes three, families each year?
I was never able to get a decent picture but over the next days there were usually two robins in the tree out front, one bigger than the other. I assumed it was Papa Robin and one of the first babies.
These pictures were both taken on June 17th.
Meanwhile, Mama Robin was staring me down, daring me to just try to open the front door or get any closer to her and her eggs.
It's strange, but she seemed to be able to hear me even when I came down the carpeted stairs as quietly as possible and took great care to step noiselessly onto the little stool so I could see.
I also muted my phone so she wouldn't hear the sound of the pictures being taken, but she always knew.
Bottom line: We were going to have to delay fixing up our front entrance yet again.
Do all robins look alike or are there ways to tell one robin from another?
When I see random robins while I'm walking in our area (and we have a lot of robins), they all look alike. But our first Mama Robin definitely looked unique (and kind of frazzled) to me.
And most of the time when I looked at the robin who was hanging out now I thought they might be the same bird.
The more I saw of Mama Robin, the more I thought this was the same pair of robins who had built the nest.
What do you think?
Pictures from July 19th.
It might look as if Papa Robin was just relaxing in the sun, but he's actually on high alert, ready to chirp like mad if anything or anyone goes near the nest, and to fly off in hopes they'll follow him.
Several people coming to my house are witnesses to that.
Mama Bird looking to make sure I'm not going to endanger her babies.
She never backed down once she'd seen me.
In case you missed it, I had to stand on this stool and look through the upper window on the right to see the nest.
The other pictures I took through the windows on either side of the door.
Pictures from June 24th and 25th.
At this point, because the nest was frequently without an adult bird in it, we assumed the babies had hatched. However, we never saw even a small piece of an eggshell. The parents took them away so no predators would spot them. There were also very few bird droppings on our doorstep.
When she was on lookout duty on the post, Mama Bird was never still. She kept turning her head to look in every direction.
Except when she spotted me looking at her through the window (top row, middle picture). Then she stared until I moved away.
Occasionally, I saw both birds out front, but most of them time one was at the nest. So far, no little heads poking above.
For the first time, on July 29th, I could just barely see at least two, possibly three, little beaks poking up above the nest.
I think it's Papa Robin hovering over them.
The two adults took turns bringing worms to the babies and keeping watch out front, either in a tree, on our post, on the ground, or on either our roof or that of our neighbour to the right.
We were close to the day when the babies' heads would start to show above the nest.
To Be Continued...