Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Missing Robin

Today started off like any other day for our Robin. She seemed to be doing a good job of tending to the nest, and even spreading out her wings to shelter the eggs and the nest from an unpleasant cold rain that lasted well into the afternoon hours.  Then a strange thing happened, around 9am she left the nest and did not seem to return.  We checked in on the web cam as frequently as we could, however, we did not see her tending to the nest like normal.

After reviewing the archive, Mrs. Robin did come back to visit the nest at 9:44am, 10:26am, and 12:32pm but only stood on the edge of the nest, and left after a few seconds.  It seems that we may have witnessed her making a difficult decision, and deciding to abandon the nest.

It appears that we have seen nature take its course, and in our research we have found that baby robins only have a 25% chance of survival during the first year.  For unknown reasons our Robin left her clutch a few nights ago, and left the eggs unattended for nearly 8 hours on a very chilly night.  After this interruption in incubation we have been pretty worried about the viability of the eggs, but cautiously holding out hope.  At the time we desperately wanted to intervene sensing something was amiss, but eventually decided it was best to leave nature undisturbed.  It is reported that birds have a natural sense when their eggs are not viable and will either kick them out of the nest or flee.  While we are still trying to hold out a thread of hope at this point, every minute that passes moves us further to the conclusion that we will not witness this clutch hatch.

Most unfortunately this also happened just as our story was published by a local news organization, KCCI.  It is greatly disappointing that this had to happen right as there was a large influx of people following our story.  It is a reminder that nature does not take our wishes into account when these events play out. 

All is not lost!  The American Robin has two to three broods per breeding season starting in April and lasting through July, so with a bit of luck we will have a new clutch to begin watching in the near future.  We will keep the camera feed live for another day or two while we stand vigil in hopes that our mother will return.  Rest assured that we will be ready to setup and capture the next family of Robins that take up residence at our home.

Here is a Time lapse video starting at 12am this morning until 5pm this evening of our Robin nest:

And the following are the last few glimpses of our Robin at the nest:

Protecting the nest from Rain

 Standing on the edge of the nest at 10:26am
Our last glimpse of Mrs. Robin at 12:22pm before leaving the nest for the rest of the day.

Thank you to everyone that has shared in our interest in watching our Robin nest, we hope to be back to publishing updates in the very near future.

Mrs. Robin, if you happen to read this, please come back soon.  You are always welcome at our home.

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