Robin Journal, Pt. 4

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Day 21   (babies 6 days old)

Above left is a photo from yesterday in which I managed to catch a baby's open beak. I want to get a picture of the mother actually shoving food into their mouths, but Mama, on the right, is very cautious, and when she even catches a glimpse of my form at the window (this picture on the right is taken through a screened window), she jerks up to glare at me, and the beaks drop. In my book, it says that baby robins are fed a staggering 100 times daily! No wonder she's so edgy. Both parents are constantly foraging.

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The babies are also instinctively wise. They don't open their beaks to me. When I stand over them on my stepstool taking photos, they lie like tiny furred lumps, their bodies gently huffing as they breathe. Even if I touch their beaks, they lie immobile. They know I'm not mom or dad. 

They are due to open their eyes today, Day Six. I took a picture this morning (look at those pinfeathers!) but no beady little eyes are visible yet.

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Day 23 (babies 8 days old)

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have eyes!

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Here, too, is a not-very-clear photo of Papa feeding his babies. See those gaping orange mouths? They're like bull's eyes for him, so he can quickly shove food in and fly off for more.


I have been worrying a bit, because I saw Papa trying to drive off a large Red-Tailed hawk yesterday. But the hawk doesn't seem to have reappeared,  thank goodness. I don't think he could get to the babies, since they are hanging under the porch roof, but he could easily attack Momma or Papa in an unguarded moment.

Just for contrast, here's a photo from the day they were hatched (left), compared with a cute photo from yesterday with all the babies pointing their beaks in one direction. The time lapse from one photo to another is a mere SEVEN DAYS.  Incredible, huh? They sure have come a long way. One book I have says that "robins experience a 1,000% growth rate in ten days." I never would have believed it if I'd hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

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