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Robins Grow Up...

Like they say in the real estate business, "Location, location, location!"

We'd stored a couple bales of straw inside this open, unused, covered kennel run. With the raw materials so convenient, I guess Mama Robin thought it seemed like the perfect spot to build a nest and raise a little family. We don't know why she was so unconcerned about all the dogs, including the one in the adjacent run (whom we moved to another run until all the babies left the nest).

The first egg appeared a few days later, followed by two more the next day, and a fourth one a day after that.
Two weeks later, the first baby emerged -- featherless but hungry! Two more eggs hatched about 12 hours later. The fourth egg never hatched.
By three days of age, the baby robins were covered with a layer of down and had started to look somewhat more like birds.
By a week of age, their eyes and ears were open, and they had some wing feathers. They grew fast. The nest became cozier every day.

I took this photo of the 10-day-old birds early in the morning when I went out to do my kennel chores. "Boy, it's getting crowded in that nest," I thought.

By the time I checked the nest again -- around 3 p.m. -- one of the three had left and was nowhere to be seen in the immediate area. While I watched, the other two also left the nest to seek their fortunes (or, at least, their next meals). The last one to leave the nest flew the wrong way initially -- right into the kennel run. I carried him back out and pointed him in the right direction. Then I watched as he flew over the dog yards and out of sight.

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