Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Fledge, flock, fly, fun? #phenology

Yesterday we made our way to the bluebird house to validate, or not, our suspicion that the nestlings had fledged and flown. All that rested in the nest was an unhatched blue egg. We were correct. The male and female adults, however, seemed of the opinion that someone, perhaps us, had abducted the youngsters. We were swooped upon several times on our way to and from the nesting box.

robins bathing in puddle
robins bathing in puddle
Photo by J. Harrington

and then there was one
and then there was one
Photo by J. Harrington

In today's rain showers, there's been no sign of any bluebirds. We have seen several small flocks of robins, instead of the ones and twos that would hop across the back yard off and on all Summer. Some were splashing in the driveway puddle. What do robins and children have in common? Others, we suspect may be just barely starting to stage in anticipation of eventual migration, but we may also be premature with that suspicion. The fine folks at Journey North offer a fascinating collection of information about robin migration, or lack thereof, both North and South. They suggest that October is a more likely time for robins to begin migration. Perhaps what we're seeing are this year's early fledglings exploring the neighborhood in unruly gangs.

The North Wind Doth Blow

by Anonymous

The north wind doth blow,
And we shall have snow,
And what will poor Robin do then,
Poor thing?
He'll sit in a barn,
And to keep himself warm,
Will hide his head under his wing,
Poor thing!

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