The Good Mom.

Dear Tom, I’ve been researching robins and robin behavior. According to the experts, after the babies hatch and grow a little, the mother robin no longer sits on the nest. Supposedly she will rest in a nearby tree during the day and spend the night in a nearby tree.

Wrong.

My mother robin loves to sit on her nest. If she’s not hunting for food and feeding the babies she’s sitting on the babies and grooming them. This despite the fact that those little suckers with their wide open mouths are getting huge. One will poke its head up under her wing and she’ll turn and give it a comforting scratch around the pin feathers. Down goes this head and up pops another one. She sleeps on the nest all night long. She’s such a tenderhearted soul, devoted to those babies. I’m sure she thinks they are beautiful. And they are, in her eyes.

She possesses the courage of a lion. I’ve watched her chase off ravens and crows and jays and other robins. Yet she doesn’t mind the swallows or the finches or the hummers or the towhees, or the crazy dog or me. When I water plants in the afternoon, she follows along behind and studies the wet places, digs for worms and bugs. Mr. Robin is equally interested in my activities. He waits all day until I clean out the birdbath– then he flies down and bathes in his clean water.

You know what excites him? He loves it when I turn on the garden hose. Right now I’m sprinkling the fruit trees. The second I turned on the water, before I could even move away, he flew right past my head and landed in the puddle, found a big worm and flew right by my head again, brushing my hair with his wing tip. No fear. We’re buds. We’ve been buds for four years now.

I think the pair like this yard because the dog keeps out all strange cats, squirrels and raccoons. It’s a good place to raise babies–as long as they aren’t run over by a dog careening through the yard with his basketball.

Click on the photo below to enlarge it. You can see Mrs. Robin standing on her nest, keeping a close eye on a pair of ravens. I called Bob the Plumber (also an award-winning bug photographer) but he’s too busy to snap some close-up photos. The best I can do is take a picture through my kitchen window.

A protective mama robin.

A protective mama robin.

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14 thoughts on “The Good Mom.

  1. Diana Stevan

    What a sweet post! How wonderful that you’ve taken the time to notice. Nature can teach us so much about living if we just take the time and pay attention. You obviously are ahead of the curve. Would love to have seen this robin family. )

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Marylin Warner

    Your Mama Robin is a force of nature, Julia. We had several groups of robins in our neighborhood after the fire several years ago that destroyed so many homes nearby and part of the forest. It must have made them crazy; they acted as “gangs” and attacked parked cars, pecking at side mirrors and windshields and diving into trees attacking other nests. The park ranger gave a rationale during an interview, explaining how fires often created this anger in birds, especially crows, but it was unusual to have so many robins doing this.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Oh the poor birds, Marylin! I’ll take an earthquake or a tornado over a fire any day. You had such awful fires!

      Like

      Reply

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