The very best thing about spring isn't the warmer weather, although it ranks right up there near the top. For me, it's the day after day appearance of new life in all forms. As a gardener, of course I love to see each new plant come to life and bring color and vibrance to the landscape. But I also look forward to birds returning from their winter homes to take up residence here around ours. The bluebirds were spotted earlier this week, checking out two of the three bluebird houses we have out back.
That same day, as we walked around the yard, enjoying the 80+ degree weather, I noticed a long piece of dry, dead Miscanthus grass hanging from a low branch of the Maine pine tree. The last time I saw something hanging from that tree (a little higher up), it was attached to a nest. So it was this time, too.
This was a well-made nest, dense and melded at the top with mud.
There was no bird in it, but there was this:
The color of blue was more of a light teal than a robin's egg blue, but the nest, coupled with the size of the eggs, let me know that it belonged to a robin. Why on earth it picked the west side of the tree instead of the leeward side, or the low branch (about five feet off the ground and within leaping distance of the cats), when there were so many more protected locations in that very tree, is beyond me.
Spring is very windy here and that branch was bouncing. Eventually, the mother robin was seen in the nest and I didn't worry about her or that the nest might be dislodged from the tree. She'd done a very good job of building and securing it. But she left the nest unattended quite often. A severe storm was due to come in and I feared for those eggs.
The next day, as we were walking around the yard with Hannah, we checked on the nest and the eggs. As I pulled the branch down a bit to peek in, there were no eggs. A look on the ground revealed four of them. Though I read that a robin will only lay one egg a day, she definitely laid two between that day and the afternoon before.
We carefully placed them back in the nest - all but one, which hadn't survived the fall from the nest.
It's a myth that a bird will abandon eggs or baby birds that have been touched by humans, but we avoided touching any more of the surface of the eggs than necessary when replacing them.
Time will tell if the eggs survive and then the chicks. It's not an ideal situation, but we'll keep an eye on them and continue to help them if necessary.