It all started a year ago, when a young robin came to visit my small garden on a daily basis.
Of course (s)he was rewarded for the visits by me providing little treats
Even during the winter snow, it would find a safe place to shelter in my willow tree and in the shrubs along the wall. I remember just before the worst winter weather to hit Ireland a few months ago, that (s)he would hop around my garden as if hugely agitated and nervous about the pending weather.
It is kind of sweet to build a 'relationship' with this little bird.
When I saw it checking out the nest box hanging on my studio, and bringing in moss, I was delighted. The box had been there for a few years, but there was also a cat... Obviously this had not been a great place to bring up the kids...
As far as I know it is a mammy who builds the nest, so let call it she.
Daddy came to inspect the nest. The mating ritual started, which includes the male giving food to the female. She flutters like a fledgling. Funny.
Home approved, the female sat on the nest for a few weeks, the male bringing her food.
I could see all this happening, with the best view from my bedroom and kitchen window and when lying on my settle in the greenhouse.
Teamwork!While weeding the garden, the robin would be by my side - less than a meter away and avail of any worms who saw the light of day.
Mid May, I watched both robins taking the broken eggshells out of the nest box. They flew quiet a distance with these, presumably to not alert any predator of the site of the next.
For the past two weeks (almost) I have been watching the goings on.
Unfortunately there is only one parent now. No idea what happened to the other.
A busy job, being a single parent of 4 baby robins.
(s)he is feeding the 4 nestlings from at least 5.30 am till 9.30 pm.
When there is a cat in the garden the robin calls out a panic call and I go out to make sure the cat is out of sight.
Looks around to see if the coast is clear and flies the short distance to the nest.
Yesterday was the first time I saw their little heads stick out over the box- looking out for food.
The robin is soo busy with her offspring that (s)he did have time for a quick bath, but no time for a bit of grooming. she looked rough!