Robin’s Nest, Memorial Park

Robin's Nest, Memorial Park

Several days ago I saw a robin fly into a small tree in Memorial Park, drawing my attention to a nest in a crotch about seven feet off the ground. The tree was fairly young and appeared to be some sort of ornamental fruit tree, perhaps a pear tree.

I wasn’t surprised to see the nest in that location; robins often build nests only a few feet off the ground. A pair of robins built a nest just above eye level in our pussy willow tree a few years back. They also attempted to build a nest atop the back porch light but abandoned the effort before any eggs were laid.

I was surprised to see that the robins that build the nest had been successful, at least so far, in raising a brood in the nest. The tree is located in a section of the park that gets a lot of human visitors. Not that I think many people would deliberately disturb the nest, but the robins might be spooked by the presence of so many large, threatening creatures. Also, being an urban park, Memorial Park is visited by neighborhood cats and other predators. Blue jays and grackles, both of which are known to prey on nestlings, also abound in the area.

Shortly after I took this photograph the male returned to the nest. He did not seem to have food for the chicks, so I wondered if my presence drew him back to the nest so that he could attempt to lure me away from it. Some birds are known to flee their nests when threatened to draw attention away from it and thus from the young in the nest. I backed away and the female made her appearance with food for the chicks. I counted three chicks; there may have been more.

In this photo, among the immature feathers and bits of fluff, at least two beaks and an eye are visible.

Psalm 104 is a great hymn of God’s sovereignty over creation. In verse 13 the Psalmist writes these words about the birds and the benefit they receive from the springs and streams that spring forth in the valleys: “Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches.” I look at these robins, and their nest in the branches of a small tree beside the pond in Memorial Park. God’s mercy and grace shown to His creation are great indeed.

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