Nesting Joy and Tips

By, Amanda Jordan-Brainard

This last year was a good one for new birders at our house!

In the spring, our family was quite excited over a pair of American Robins that nested in the crook of a tree right outside our kitchen window.  For weeks, Colin and I competed to wash dishes (as an excuse to stare out the window at our robins).  We watched the mother brood her eggs and young, the father protect the area, and both parents take turns feeding their nestlings.

As I was new to nest-watching, I wanted to avoid anything that might endanger the new nest and its precious residents.  My concern led me to research, and here are some important tips I learned:

* Monitor the nest from afar, so not to call the attention of predators to the nest

* If walking near the nest, walk past it slowly and calmly –never stopping right at the nest.  This will reduce the risk of leaving a trail for predators to use.

*Avoid approaching the nest during bad weather, early morning and dusk.

*Stay away during the first few days of incubation.

*Keep a greater distance when the nestlings are close to fledging to avoid them hopping out early and exposing them to greater risks.

We followed these tips and were lucky to see 3 healthy robins fledge!

Nesting season was such fun last year, that we will be putting out birdhouses and nesting material in hopes of hosting more nesting birds this year.