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Monday, May 9, 2016

Did you hear? What a shocker this was...


Some feathered friends have found a new home...OURS! You just never know who is moving into the neighborhood! 

"The Robins" are coming...to our bedroom window ... We were so busy this weekend, staining and putting up our sails on our deck, we barely noticed all the chirping from a dear Robin Mumm...Seems she too will be celebrating MUMM's day very soon... We certainly noted she was spending a lot of time by our bedroom window, we could hear the commotion for the past week....

David then climbed the ladder and noted Mr and Mrs Robin have found our fireplace vent as a perfect home... and as I was so interested in learning more about their new babies....I dug this up.... Don't you just love the colour of their EGGS! 



Early Birds Catch Worms, Then Lay Eggs 
Most birds lay their eggs at sunrise, but NOT robins! They lay their eggs at mid-morning. That's several hours later than most birds lay eggs. For robins, this makes good sense. Robins eat a lot of earthworms during the breeding season, and they use those early dark hours to hunt for worms because worms are most available before the sun gets too high. Robins lay their eggs mid-morning after feasting on worms. A robin can then fly over to her nest and lay her eggs easily, but most other birds seem to need a long period of quiet before they can lay eggs. Those other species can get a big breakfast even if they eat late because they don't want worms anyway!

An Egg a Day is Work 
If you think laying an egg is easy, think again! Robins lay only one egg per day for good reasons. Female birds have one working ovary, unlike mammals, which have two. Ovaries are the organs where eggs are produced. A bird's ovary looks like a tiny bunch of different-sized grapes. These "grapes" are the ova, or actually the yolks. The one ovum about to be released looks huge. One or two are about half this size, a few more are a bit smaller, and the rest of the ova are tiny. About once a day, the largest yolk is ovulated. That means it pops off the ovary and starts traveling down a tube to the outside of the robin's body. This tube is called the oviduct.

Egg Formation
If a female robin has mated with a male, the yolk will become fertilized. If the robin hasn't mated, the yolk still goes down the oviduct and will be laid like a normal robin egg, but it won't develop into a robin. As the yolk travels through the oviduct, the tube's walls slowly secrete (drip out) watery proteins called albumen to surround the yolk. Near the end of the trip down the tube, the oviduct secretes calcium compounds. The calcium compounds will become the eggshell, but the egg will remain a bit soft until it is laid. You can imagine why the formation of an egg is a tremendous drain on a mother robin's body!

Stopping At Four 
Robins usually lay four eggs and then stop. Like most birds, they lay one egg a day until their clutch is complete. If you remove one egg each day, some kinds of birds will keep laying for a long time, as if they can stop laying only when the clutch of eggs feels right underneath them. Robins normally lay four eggs.

On The Nest 
Until they've laid a full clutch, robins allow all the eggs to stay cool so the babies don't start to develop. That's pretty smart! It means all the babies hatch close to the same time. Mother robins may start incubating their eggs during the evening after the second egg is laid, or after all the eggs are laid. They sit on the eggs for 12 to 14 days. The female usually does all the incubating. Even in good weather, she rarely leaves her eggs for more than 5 to 10 minutes at a time.

Incubation
It's mom's job to maintain the proper incubation temperature, keeping the eggs warm during cold weather and shaded during really hot weather. She also must turn or rotate the eggs several times daily. She hops on the rim of the nest and gently rolls the eggs with her bill. Turning the eggs helps keep them all at the same temperature and prevents the babies from sticking to the insides of the eggshells. Males only occasionally sit on the eggs, but they hang out in the territory throughout the daylight hours and respond immediately if the female gives a call of alarm. A male may even bring food to feed his mate, but usually she leaves the nest to feed herself.
Some birds, like hawks and owls, lay their eggs when weather is still very cold, and start to incubate as soon as the first egg is laid. The egg they laid on the first day hatches out a day before the egg they laid on the second day, which hatches a day before the third day's egg. Therefore, the oldest baby may be a lot bigger than the smallest baby. If hunting is very bad and the babies are very hungry, the biggest may sometimes eat the smallest. The oldest baby leaves the nest before the later babies, too.

Sharing Her Body Heat 
The eggs must be kept warm to develop. A robin's body is 104 degrees F. or even warmer. Feathers insulate by keeping the bird's body heat inside, and the outer feathers can still feel cool to the touch. That's why female robins need a special way to keep their eggs warm. They have an incubation patch, or brood patch, which is a place on their bellies where their feathers fall out. A mother robin shares her body warmth by parting her outer feathers and then pressing her hot bare tummy against her eggs or her young nestlings. Outer feathers cover the bare area so the brood patch is hidden. (It's a little like keeping the oven door closed so the heat stays inside.) Scientists who hold a female robin for banding will often blow on the tummy feathers to see if a brood patch is hiding underneath.
Many birds apparently sense the egg temperature with receptors in the brood patches. This helps the birds determine how much time to spend on eggs, and they can change their incubation behavior accordingly. For example, they may sit more or less tightly on the eggs, or leave the eggs exposed while going to feed or drink.

The End of the Egg: Hatching Out
Fighting its way out of the egg isn't easy for a chick. First it breaks a hole in the shell with its egg tooth, a hard hook on its beak. Then it must struggle with all its might, between periods of rest, to get out. No wonder hatching may take a whole day. The eggs usually hatch a day apart in the order they were laid. Naked, reddish, wet, and blind, the babies require A LOT of food. Now it becomes a full time job for both parents to protect the nest, find food, and feed the clamoring babies during the 9-16 days they spend in the nest.

I know pretty amazing isn't it?? So while I wait around and listen to the activity from our deck I will keep hand quilting this lovely Paper Ladies that Cori appliqued...

I only have 2 more Paper Ladies to quilt and 3 more squares and the border has a wavy
line and I will be done. Goal is to mail it back to Cori on Thursday so she can add the ruffles and binding... I love doing this....the details are remarkable....

So must run, the riot boys need some TLC before David and supper is being prepared...maybe we will have an omelette lol.

Kidding of course lol

Here are some recent Riot boy shots.....These were taken today....love their expressions....Monchat on the top, Sumo on the Bottom!







31 comments:

  1. Your boys are going to have a lot of fun watching the babies once they hatch and come down to feed in the yard! Happy stitching.

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    1. They can watch too from the window..both have been there most of the day. Ms Robbins does not seem to be bothered ....so I will continue stitching..

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    2. and ps....thanks so much for the R. x

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  2. I hand raised a Robin once after he fell from a nest. He remained so attached to us for a very long time. I, like you did, looked up about the doves and finches that made nests in our yard this year.

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    1. That sounds so like you gracie..now I hope that is not the case here..I am not sure I would be prepared properly....oh my ...my riot boys may want to eat them...yikes...
      WE have many nests on the property but never on our home ....so odd..

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  3. I hope the boys do not become interested in the eggs. Our momma cockatiel laid her 4th egg this morning.

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    1. unless they can fly, we don't have to worry...it is far from reach...a Cockatiel. an inside bird? 4 the egg....I have not checked to see if she has 4 ( our robin) maybe only the 3...
      how thrilling this all is...

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  4. Oh, the boys will have nice 'bird-TV' the next weeks. My parent's cat has to stay inside to save the baby birds once they left the nest for the first days.
    Greetings, Rike

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    1. I suspect that very thing....it will keep them bright in the morning since that is when we hear most of the noise...and they never are outside unless we are with them...and it is just sooooo cool these few days and wet..

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  5. My kitty has been enjoying the birds from outside her window, she loves to watch the nesting but they are not on our porch this year for once! Hope you are enjoying prettier weather,we seem to have lost our Spring again!

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    1. I think birds are so smart...teasing our kitties lol and we must be along the same line for weather..it has been very cool here too Kris....low50's..

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  6. So darling! Love the photos, of course I feel cheated if you omit the Riot Boys- haha
    And love the quilt!!!

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    1. I did add the boys...just for you lol Sue...

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  7. What great shots of the robin's nest and eggs! It's going to be fun watching them hatch and grow. And paper ladies, good grief, you are fast! blessings, marlene

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    1. Neat heh, now I may slow down a bit today...I sliced some of my index finger at supper lol

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  8. Awwww so sweet and fun.
    I remember a few very wonderful Robin nests in our front bushes. We could see all the action from the living room window, incredible.
    The boys look so content.
    I love the quilting, Missie Samm

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    1. Good morning RosemaryBhere, anyone who has ever had feathered friends nearby is full of blessings....that is what my Nanny used to say....the nicest compliment that you can provide a safe temporary home ....and the boys well they are doing pretty well....

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  9. Always thought the blue of Robins eggs was amazing! So vibrant! The boys will be most interested in their new feathered friends.

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    1. Hi Karen...the riot boys will not be doing any snooping but they are amused by all the robin talk by their window..

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  10. Beautiful color, yes! Isn't nature amazing? I learned some new facts today. Thank you!

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    1. HI Linda..ditto that...I did not know a lot about them either...isn't nice to share a good thing..

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  11. Growing up in Ohio, I always had robins outside my bedroom window, We do have thrushes here in Tokyo and I see them hunting goodies in the park but no idea where they nest. Great Tits come to my feeder for sunflower seeds and in the past I have had nesting boxes for them... a lot of work because they have two nestings each summer and they will only build a nest in an empty box. They are good for the garden because they pick juicy caterpillars off the bushes and trees. I still miss robins

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    1. Hello Julie....ohhhh another feathered friend foster home...how lucky you have been for them to find your home as a great safe place...

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  12. Your pictures are so pretty. I love that color of blue. It will be fun to watch the little ones grow up. Your Sumo looks so happy in that picture...what a smile he has. Monchat is just too darn pretty for his own good.... and the quilt is looking so beautiful. Oh I just can't wait! I am the luckiest girl in the world, and still in shock that you are doing this for me!!! I am thrilled it was ruined the first time because what you have done is exactly what I wanted. It will be treasured for a lifetime. I can't thank you enough my friend. xx

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    1. Hi Cori, those eggs are such a deep colour aren't they? My powder room is a softer shade of this...always been one of my fav's...( for paint) I just have the border to do today... it is soooooo beautiful...the quilting just emphasizes your loving applique.. And the boys really are too cute for their own good...they are such a delight to admire from close and far...

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  13. Wow, Samm! I never knew a bird's eggs could be of this beautiful color! This color is in fashion now, so you have stylish robbins living nearby :D

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    1. Hello Masha....yes a stylish colour...who knew...the Robins knew...they are always in fashion for so many reasons..they are lovely to watch in our yard in the mornings as they are digging up for worms..

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  14. The robins spend the winter here, so no nesting. The eggs are really gorgeous. The quilt is gorgeous too. I almost (but not really) agree with Cori, lucky it got messed up and is now being done so beautifully. Always look forward to seeing the boys, they are always so cute. Take care.

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    1. HI Mary Ann, yes I suppose you would see them there as they leave here for warmer weather...And I am almost done of Cori's quilt....and it is so lovely..

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  15. The things I learn here...I never knew. What beautiful eggs, that will be fun to observe.

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    1. well nothing new to report...no chicks just yet....but she is quite anxious when we go outside so I suspect we could all be parents very soon lol

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You think they are just words...they are sew much more than that...your wee messages tell me, you are kind, smart and important...