Monday, June 3, 2013

American Robin (Turdus migratorious)

Can you believe the Latin name? I can. For some reason the Robin I posted a few days ago has taken to perching on the tops of our cars and you know what happens when a bird takes off...

Actually "Turdus" means thrush and it is in the same family as the Wood Thrush that was building it's nest in the same tree. This was a year or two ago, however. It is even the same branch, only up against the trunk. 

Robins will often use grasses to build their nest, but since leaves were more available to this bird, her nest was constructed almost entirely of leaves.

Her nest was very similar to the Wood Thrush and she took the same care with tamping a bowl shape into the nest using her breast.

I was using her nest building technique as a template for the Wood Thrush. Towards the end of construction, she started bringing in mud to line the nest with and stiffen it up. I thought the Wood Thrush would do the same thing, but it turned out she didn't use any mud at all.

The final step was to also, like the Wood Thrush, bring it rootlets to line the cup. Her nest wasn't successful either and I am pretty sure it was also a squirrel that destroyed it. I don't think they are intentionally being destructive. I think they just get curious or are looking for food and knock the nests out of the tree. I have seen squirrels actually pulling chunks of bark off this River Birch. It comes off fairly easily, but I have no idea why they were doing it. They weren't eating anything. Just being squirrels, I guess.

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