Making friends with the robins in my backyard

Posted June 07, 2013, at 5:38 a.m.
Last modified June 07, 2013, at 8:41 a.m.

FREEPORT, Maine — Each spring, robins were my grandfather’s constant companion. He would toss worms to them while working in his garden. The birds would pick up his offering and fly back to their nest above the neighbor’s porch.  He’d swear it was the same couple that was there the year before.

I’ve had my own robin companions this spring, and truth be told, they’ve kept me from getting much accomplished. I had set out to do some work only to end up putting down the rake and picking up the camera.

Starting in mid-May they began gathering mud, grass and twigs and quickly built three nests in different locations.

My robins certainly are not camera-shy. It seemed they could hardly care less about the guy lying on the lawn with the telephoto lens as they pulled up muddy clumps of grass, sometimes just 10 feet away.

One nest, built on the shelf of my the woodshed, went unused. Two eggs were laid in the second nest, built in a brush pile, but for some reason they were abandoned.

The third nest, built under the roof of my garden shed, was the charm. It now contains three scraggly-looking chicks with an insatiable appetite.

It won’t be long now until the chicks are big enough to fly off. Maybe then I can get back to my yard work.