Robbin' Robin

By Phil Plait | June 9, 2012 7:00 am

One of the pleasures of working from home is taking a break whenever I need one so I can putter around the house. I do the dishes, clean up a bit, whatever’s necessary to clear my mind a bit or work out some bodily kinks.

Sometimes I’ll just stand in my kitchen and look out the window, watching nature do whatever it is it does. I was doing that today, a little while ago in fact. As I stood looking over the lawn, a common Robin swooped in and landed in our eaves. To my delight, it hopped into an old abandoned House Finch nest and started redecorating:

How wonderful! Who cares about a housing bubble when you can simply assume the mortgage of a slightly used fixer-upper? Unless the previous owners don’t even know, in which case this is robin from them.

By the way, I took this picture by holding my phone up to my binoculars. It was surprisingly difficult, and this was the best out of about two dozen I took. If and when the eggs hatch, I’ll try to take more.


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Comments (15)

  1. Lascas

    Clearly, the bird is mooning us.

  2. Björn Lammers

    Very nice! Last month a blackbird built its nest on an upside down litter can perched atop a cabinet on my balcony, a dry and relatively safe place, just inches from my bedroom window. It successfully raised a nest of four, which was very nice to watch. It didn’t even mind me mixing concrete on the balcony.

  3. Wzrd1

    We quite literally have thousands of common robins in our area. Always a nice sight to see.
    Our local population of blue jays and crows have returned as well, after a decade of absence, due to West Nile virus eliminating the population.

    As for Phil’s photograph, perhaps it should be entitled “Recycling Robin”.

  4. Chris

    Shame on you, Phil. Watching a young lady in her bed with your binoculars. You’re a peeping tom. :-D

  5. Robin Byron

    I like this idea. There’s an eight plus million dollar home overlooking my favorite surfing spot at Sunset Cliffs that I can’t otherwise afford so…

  6. R'Chard

    If you can mount the binoculars on a tripod and aim them, a picture will be much easier.

  7. NAW

    We got a house wren nest on our front porch. Most of the time birds can find a nice safe place around a human nest.

  8. Brasidas

    That’s not a REAL robin – that’s some sort of American thrush imposter.

  9. sophia8

    I agree – real robins don’t look like yellow-beaked pigeons!

  10. Navneeth

    Surprisingly good for the phone+binocs combo!

  11. Franklin

    That was quite the inventive solution! Excellent work!

  12. kat wagner

    Birdies at our place screech like crazy when there’s a bull snake in their tree. So, the robins, king birds, bullock orioles and starlings were making a racket, and sure enough, a big ole bull snake had a full grown starling all wrapped up – up in a spruce tree. And he couldn’t figure out which end to eat first so he dropped the bird and headed back up. He uncoiled his bad self and I was surprised at how big he was.

    I got a bunch of pix but none on flickr yet. Anyone want to see? Just holler.

    edit: here’s the link http://www.flickr.com/photos/blueglacier/?uploaded=2&magic_cookie=f741103d5c40cdfce5b54927fb64b257

  13. Joseph G

    Im in ur nest, squattin ur twigs!

    (Saw the caturday tag, couldn’t resist)

  14. Crux Australis

    I’ve got some pretty decent photos of the Moon and Saturn by holding my iPhone’s camera lens up to the eyepiece of my 10″. Hard to line it up with the exit pupil, but worth it.

  15. RobT

    Nice catch, Phil, though I find birds quite annoying in the spring since they start chirping at 4AM outside my window.

    People actually use the camera in their phones? Looks like someone needs to purchase/use a real camera with a real lens. ;-)

    I see some of the new phones have 8MP or even more, which is quite useless when you have a tiny sensor and a small plastic lens that invariably will be covered in fingerprints. Next thing you know the “professional” photographer will show up to shoot your wedding with an iPad.

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