“The Acre” has been an active bird nursery for many years. Last season, at least six separate species nested successfully on the property. A combination of mature trees, wet meadow and open field makes this land suitable nesting habitat for a number of birds.
Since 2010, an American Robin (Turdus migratorius) pair have built their sturdy nest in the rhododendron directly behind the house. I am fairly certain this is the same female every year because the nest is built in the exact same crotch of the “rhodie”. This conjecture is based on the fact that it is the female of the species who builds the nest and all nests found on “The Acre” are removed each Autumn and added to my collection (songbirds rarely re-use nests). Robins nested in a Norway Spruce in the upper field before 2010 but it may have been different individuals who reproduced – there has been no nesting in that tree since.
In 2010, the eggs were hatched on Mothers’ Day (see photo). Unfortunately, a week of ~40F with rain in late May doomed this brood. My theory is that the birds had grown to a point where both parents were required to forge thus leaving the fledglings unprotected from the elements for long periods of time. Last year, the first brood fell to predation (the neighborhood Raccoons perhaps?). Otherwise, there have been at least two successful families raised and, except for last year, I have not yet seen this female produce more than one brood per season.
So again Mamma has returned and is busy incubating in the “rhodie.” I’ve not yet seen signs of Raccoon this Spring and the long-term weather forecast looks favorable. So perhaps “The Acre” will be sending off a 4th generation of American Robins before Summer begins in earnest.