Robins

'robins weave sticks & string to build their nests, then hold them together with mud'

Robins are one of the most common birds in my yard now. They come every day & eat sunflower seeds dropped under the feeder. 

The robin nest layed on my gutter unfortunately came to a sad end. One day I went outside & I found it on the ground. It looked as if there had only been 1 egg in it, but predators may have carried others away. Raccoons, opossums, & even other birds will eat bird eggs. I can’t figure out why it had been knocked down. The fork between the gutter & the roof may not have been very stable, or for some strange reason the parents may have knocked the nest down. )-:

Robins call gutter ‘home’

A pair of robins recently decided that a good place to raise their family would be on top of my rain-gutter. It’s actually kind of convenient because I can see right into the nest from my balcony. It’s a big nest, about 4-6 inches wide, & it’s woven really tightly. It’s amazing how birds can weave nests that well with only a beak to do it. They made a huge, messy nest first, & then one day when I looked at it they had knocked the whole thing to the ground, except the bottom few twigs. Then they built it up again much neater & tighter, but the bottom of it is still sticking out in every direction. The robins sit on the eggs most of the time, & sometimes they don’t fly away when I go outside to look at them. I am expecting to see chicks soon. Yay! (-:   (Click the tiny pic to see it close up. Sometimes the photo blows up really huge before it becomes easy to see.)                                                                                                               

Song birds

"A brown creeper."

Today I saw a brown creeper. They are related to white-breasted & red-breasted nuthatches & they look & act quite a lot like them. They are white underneath, & they have a mottled brown back, unlike the nuthatches gray one. From a distance, they are easy to mistake for a nuthatch, as they climb up & down trees in the same way. Or, from a distance, you probably wouldn’t see them at all, because their feathers match tree bark so perfectly.  

There are a bunch of american robins in my front yard, hunting for worms. They stand still, cocking their head to one side, listening for an earthworm under the ground. When they zero in on one, they stretch out their necks really fast & pull it from the dirt. They can catch huge worms, but sometimes you can see that they are really struggling to yank the worm out of the earth. Robins are quite bold; you can often walk up very close to them (I can get about 6 ft. away fairly easily) before they hop away. And they do hop. They are ground birds – they seem more comfortable on the ground than in the air or in a tree. If they have a choice, they would rather hop than fly.

Black-capped chickadees are migrating back to MN. Everything I’ve read says that chickadees don’t migrate, but I never see them in the winter, & they’re fairly abundant in the summer, so it would seem like they do, at least where I live. They have many different calls: one of the most common ones is the one that sounds like “chicka DEE-DEE-DEE-DEE”. (Which would appear to be how they got their name.) They also have other musical warblings.