One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Recognize this late nester?

I’ll check back later!

~~~

We admit this is a tough one–only a dark-feathered back and a broad yellow beak. And maybe you can see a hint of her nest, made of twigs.

This little lady is a common songbird in our part of northern Virginia–an American Robin.

See the similarities?

Fun facts: robin nests are constructed of approximately 350 twigs and pieces of grass, each about 6 inches long. The robin uses mud, collected one beak at a time, to ‘cement’ the nest together, then lines the inside with more grasses.

Want more information? This American Robin page on Learner.org helped us with its good facts.

Adventures when leaving the nest

When baby birds start flapping their wings, we squirrels hunker down to watch–it’s always fun. This week, two baby Blue Jays did a test…er, glide.

Baby Blue Jay stuck in a fence

This poor little fellow seemed stuck for some time in a gate.

American Robin and Baby Blue Jay

The parent birds hovered nearby, bringing food, but we think in his distress, he got a bit confused and started begging to anyone!

Baby Blue Jay

Finally, the last baby was brave enough to land. The parents keep up with feeding, and we hope protecting through the night. And just so you humans know, that’s usually the case. If the young birds have feathers, they usually are on their first flights, awkward, but that’s where the phrase ‘testing their wings’ comes from!

Bradford Pear Feeding

After the excitement of posting so many food plants for wildlife last week, I’m hoping I’m not going to bore you by showing another. I’ve had these pictures since the start of December and just didn’t manage to fit them in. I’m sure you humans get as busy as we squirrels do and can understand. Acorns, leaf nests, defending your territory, it all adds up.

Anyway, on a foggy morning romp around the neighborhood, Hickory and I heard a commotion in the branches above.

American Robins in Bradford Pear tree
The trees were filled with American Robins feasting on…

Bradford Pear fruits

“These are Bradford Pear trees, so those must be pears…of a sort.”
“Have you ever tried them?” he asked me.

I hadn’t, so we leapt up for a taste of the little round fruits.

tiny pears

“Not bad,” he said, “but not acorns.”

I agreed, we still had enough acorns we could leave these little ‘pears’ to the robins. They obviously aren’t as discerning as a squirrel.