Circle of Life

I solved the mystery of the missing robin’s nest once my husband woke up.  I asked him if the nest was intact before he fell asleep.  He replied that as far as he knew, the nest was there until the early morning hours.  Once he was dressed, he walked out into the back yard and spotted the empty nest in the middle of the lower half of our yard.  Quite a ways away from the upper patio and the back porch light.  Here are some photos to give you an idea:

Empty Robin's Nest Far From Porch Light
Empty Robin’s Nest Far From Porch Light

Nest in the middle of the lower half of back yard
Nest in the middle of the lower half of back yard

Terry surmised that a predator, perhaps a snake or a racoon or a possum, used the electrical wire to gain access to the roof of our house, grab the nest and retreat with it back across the wire.  I found the four bodies of the robin hatchlings near the house, on the paved steps under where the electrical wire enters the house.

Porch light (left) and electrical wiring (right)
Porch light (left) and electrical wiring (right)

I did not take photos of the poor deceased robin babies. I will spare you that tragedy. Their eyes had not opened yet and they didn’t have much fletching (mostly hairless or featherless).

Terry did some internet research and found some statistics on robin hatchlings.  Cold comfort to me.  Something like only 40% of the eggs actually hatch and only about 10% of those hatchlings survive.  It makes me wonder how robins can seem so plentiful in the springtime.

Both Terry and my uncle quoted the ‘circle of life’ at me.  Again, cold comfort, especially for the poor baby robins who only lived two or three days and never got to see the sun or feel the wind in their wings.

Rest in peace, little ones.

2 thoughts on “Circle of Life”

  1. I bought one of those “watch baby birds” from an infomercial on tv. It seemed like a great idea.
    A large sphere of clear plastic, imagine a clear bowling ball with a good sized hole in the front, and air holes drilled top and bottom. Best part was the back was more flat with those sticky cups to adhere to the window of your choice. Of course, this went directly to the kitchen window where my grandsons could learn about nature. It was wonderful watching the nest being built. Then, like your situation, the eggs hatched. I guess one wasn’t a keeper and to the horror of a screaming 4 year old, the mom pecked the newly hatched bird to death and pushed it out of the nest onto the deck.
    My son taped a black garbage bag over their kitchen window until the last of the babies left.
    I think the clear viewing nest went to the trash.

  2. I just had a similar experience with a robin nest in our yard. I am so sad for the little babies that never got a chance. I’m sorry to hear of your experience, but glad others out there care about these little guys too.

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