Robin’s nest

It is definitely spring, the birds are returning and, as yearly usual, my email and phone calls have once again increased.

From out Hillsburgh way comes one of interest that I thought worth passing on to you. It goes exactly like this:

“Hello Barrie, longtime reader of your column and I thought you’d enjoy this little tidbit.

“My wife put a wreath on our front door for Easter. It’s a simple wreath of tangled vines and pussy willows – as big as a traditional dartboard and stands 8- to 10-inches off the door. We haven’t paid much attention to it since Easter, as the front door is rarely used.

“A few days ago, sitting proudly atop the wreath, we discovered a freshly wrapped bird’s nest.

“My sister-in-law was visiting at the time for my wife’s birthday and I thought she put the nest there as a surprise. She denied any knowledge of the nest’s beginnings, so I played along and thought it was quite sweet.

“Well, shortly after that, two little blue eggs appeared in the nest, and warming the eggs – a mother robin. It’s really quite a sight.

“Our front door has four little windows in a half moon shape in the top one-third of the door, and I can see her little head or tail sticking up each time we walk past the door in the hall; she’ll stretch her head up and look me right in the eye, not three feet from my face. Unbelievable.  I attached a couple of pictures for you.

“Have you ever heard of such a thing?

“Good to hear you are keeping well and busy up there on the farm.”

It was signed: “Take Good Care.”

Yes. On all occasions. The pictures came through loud and clear. And yes, each year I get many very similar reports.

Last year, for one of my readers, I completed hatching, in my incubator, a clutch of 11 mallard duck eggs that were rescued ice-cold from a quite apparent abandoned nest. Four days later, seven of the 11 hatched, which she managed to raise and eventually release. The remaining, though perfectly formed, were dead in the shell.

Here on the farm we had a starling attempt to nest in the overhead roof of the tractor, another in a hanging upside-down helmet in the shed, and a third under the large cap on our propane tank. Those we destroyed, as the European starling and the English sparrow are two of the greatest threats to our back-coming bluebird population.

But all in all, it is sending us a very strong message, which should not be ignored. We are going to have to start sharing more and more of the space that we have robbed unthinking from the wildlife of our great country.

And yes, yes. I am busy, busy, keeping well, feeling great, and have the freedom of pacing myself while doing many of the things I enjoy.

Take care, ‘cause we care.



Barrie Hopkins