Readers’ wildlife photos

I’m watching ducklings grow to fledging, and reader Patrick May is doing that with another bird: the American Robin (Turdus migratorius). His notes are indented:

A few weeks ago my wife hung two pots of strawberry plants outside our front door.  The very next morning a robin (turdus migratorius, according to the Audubon guide) was making a nest in one.  We’ve been using the garage and back doors for the past month.

When first hatched, the chicks aren’t as appealing as your ducklings:

Momma Robin didn’t appreciate my attention to her babies (they’re showing their dinosaur ancestry here):

I think this was her in the back yard, bringing lunch to the nest:

The babies grew quickly:

And they were always hungry:

It wasn’t long before the mother couldn’t even cover all four at once:

The last of the fluffiness started to fade a few days ago:

I got this last shot yesterday and found the nest empty this morning.  My wife saw the last fledgling fly away while I was in the shower.

The experience was well worth the sacrifice of a couple of strawberry plants!


  1. Debra Coplan
    Posted May 21, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos.
    They do always look hungry!
    Great documentation of their beginnings.
    It’s great to this timeline of their growth and I’m glad they launched.

    • Terry L Pedersen
      Posted May 21, 2020 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      This brought me a smile from deep inside for the morning. Thank you for your time and diligence in following their progress!

  2. Posted May 21, 2020 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Always fun to watch this. The chicks may be fluttering around the yard, as they are unable to fly much at first.

    • Posted May 21, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for the warning. I checked and didn’t find any that failed to launch.

  3. Dominic
    Posted May 21, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Congratulations on Robin grandparent Hood! 😁

  4. rickflick
    Posted May 21, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I think you may see the young still being fed by mom now that they are out of the nest. Also, look for another brood starting soon. Robins seem to get in a couple of bunches each spring.

  5. Jenny Haniver
    Posted May 21, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    These are wonderful photos. But why does the robin have a binomial that registers in my brain as “migrating turds”?

    • Posted May 21, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      My youngest son found that name amusing, too.

  6. Robie
    Posted May 21, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    We have two robin nests on our house this year, both underneath gutters. The babies are still in them, and if we get too close, we get yelled at and dive-bombed by an angry parent. It would be nice if they would nest somewhere where we could get pictures as nice as these.

  7. Posted May 21, 2020 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    Nice progression of photos, thanks!

  8. Posted May 21, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the lovely set of photos, Patrick. Did your wife yell for you to hurry up out of the shower? I know I wouldn’t be able to contain myself, knowing how disappointing it would be to miss the fledging!

    • Posted May 21, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      She just caught the tail end of balancing on the edge of the nest and launching. No time to even pull out her phone.

  9. Mark R.
    Posted May 21, 2020 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Great succession of photos. They sure grow up fast!

  10. Posted May 21, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Great photos, and love the progression and story!

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