Spring Offspring!

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If I had written a post yesterday, it would have extolled the virtues of a warm and sunny Sunday, a day that was just picture perfect.  The Park was busy with most of the regular walkers, all there to enjoy the beautiful Spring day.

I took a slew of photos and was anxious to see and share them with you, but we had a horrific storm pop up in the two o’clock hour.  That storm raged for several hours, running the gamut of thunder and lightning, hail up to an inch in diameter and torrential downpours.  The house was pelted with hail from every angle, and rain came with such force, the water was level with the top of the curb.  I watched from the front door, as one brave neighbor donned his poncho and took a rake in the teeming rain to clear out the sewer grate, which was causing our street and the cross-street to flood.  All the tree buds and bits that had been flitting around and landed in the street had whooshed down to the drain and clogged it.

After the storm subsided, the afternoon was suddenly over, and I never recouped that lost “online time” so I deferred the post to today.

As I walked around Council Point Park yesterday, it seemed that Mother Nature was at her finest.  I saw lush grass, a flawless blue sky, and the leaves had finally unfurled, providing a canopy of green as I traveled along the perimeter path.  Songbirds trilled and thrilled me with their song, and Parker was dancing over my shoe tops, pleading for peanuts with pensive eyes and other whimsical antics.

It is appropriate in this week leading up to Mother’s Day, that I should spotlight Spring’s offspring, and I hope you enjoy them.

My first find was getting a glimpse at the goslings.  My friend Ann Marie reported seeing some goslings and their parents at the man-made pond at her apartment building on Saturday.  She texted me pictures of those cute and fuzzy chicks, so I was hopeful to see some of my own.

As I rounded the bend of the first walking loop, there they were, nestled together by the old twisted tree, sweet golden fuzz balls, with their proud parents nearby.

geese on ground.jpg

I admired the first “batch” of the 2018 goslings, and was careful to stay far from them, while clicking away at these chicks.  The goslings barely stirred the entire time I was there, including the parents who guarded their babies like sentries, not even moving a muscle.

geese on ground with parents

Reluctantly I moved along, fed a few more squirrels, a pair of cardinals and the red-winged blackbird.  I stopped every walker I saw to tell them the first goslings had arrived at the Park.

I walked the entire perimeter path, which is two miles, and found myself back where I saw Mom and Pop Goose and their young ‘uns the first go-around.  Only this time, they had moved out of their cozy alcove and were grazing.  I was surprised to find the goslings were not as small as I originally thought – hmm, so where have they been hiding?

Of course, more warm-and-fuzzy photos had to be taken to share here.

geese standing

 

geese standing two.jpg

Begrudgingly, I tore myself away from the goose family to tackle another entire loop around Council Point Park.

I heard the steady drumming of a woodpecker very high up in a dead tree.  While shielding my eyes from the sun, I scoured the weathered branches to find him.  It was a large woodpecker, but it seems I startled him, as I saw a blur of wings and poof – he was gone.

But, glancing toward the sky for the elusive woodpecker had yielded another find … a robin’s nest on a low branch.  I know I’d have seen it before, so it was obviously a new addition along my regular route.  The mother robin was sitting on top of the rather messy-looking nest, with only her head and tail visible from my vantage point.

nest robin fixings.jpg

Mama Robin’s eyes followed me as I took a few pictures, and she never moved a muscle.  She guarded that cache of eggs with her life.

nest robin

I sure didn’t want to scare her, so I left quietly and returned to the primary purpose of my excursion … oh yeah, walking, with some bliss thrown in to set the Spring mood.

I mused that once the baby robins hatch, even more newborns will be roaming around Council Point Park in a few short weeks.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Meanwhile, to update you on an earlier post,  in Richmond, Virginia the new robins have arrived.  You’ll recall I wrote about the robin’s nest my friend Evelyn discovered on her back porch a few weeks ago.  I showed you some pictures of three eggs, then four eggs, plus a photo of Mama Robin keeping those eggs warm and toasty.  https://lindaschaubblog.net/2018/04/27/spring-blessings/

Mama Robin rarely moved off the nest.

Mama on nest.jpg

When Evelyn put her dogs out each morning, she had her phone handy to monitor the “goin’s on” at the nest since Mama Robin usually flew off the nest once they walked out the back door.

Because the eggs were different sizes, on May 2nd  Evelyn noticed Mama Robin had been rotating the eggs, likely moving them around to give them equal warmth from her body.  This reconfiguration of eggs happened just prior to “hatch day” as you’ll see below.

05-02 eggs rotated.jpg

The next day, May 3rd,  one of the eggs had a small crack in its beautiful blue shell – the hatching had begun!

05-03 first egg cracking.jpg

On May 4th, Evelyn discovered three naked newborn robins, each with a tiny tuft of feathers, had made their entrance into the world.  What a miracle!  You’ll recall one egg was laid a day or two after the others, so it had some catching up to do.  As you see in the next photo, that fourth and final egg remained in the nest, snugged up near the hatchlings.  Evelyn assumed the remaining egg would hatch a day or so later.

05-04 three babies 1 egg

But, the very next day, Saturday the 5th, sadly, there was no sign of the fourth egg in the nest.  It was as if Mama Robin determined that hatchling was not going to make it and discarded the egg.  So, it was just a trio of hatchlings remaining in the nest.

05-05 three babies

The hatchings have grown in leaps and bounds – here is how they looked this morning.  At least they resemble a bird.  They are “all beak” and isn’t it amazing to see the blue veins in their tiny bodies?

05-07 three babies

I researched to find more info on robin hatchlings and learned they will open their eyes at 5 days old.  They will be ready to leave the nest when they are 13 days old when they will be almost the size of their parents.  Amazing, when you look at those scrawny little bodies now.  Once fledged from the nest, they will be capable fliers in just 10-15 days.

Look out world (and worms)!!

 

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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34 Responses to Spring Offspring!

  1. Rebecca says:

    Nice photos of the goslings at the pond and what a wonderful account of the baby robins! New life in the spring is amazing to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thank you Rebecca. Once those goslings stood up, I was amazed how big they were. Their parents have kept them sequestered somewhere. The robins are amazing aren’t they.? I had no idea what they looked like as hatchlings and in one week’s time, we’ll barely recognize them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………………..Oh my Gosh……………………you have some awesome pictures of those Robin eggs hatching……………….I love it………………and you and I have the same geese-hatching and robin-sitting…………animals……………….as I do……….yes that’s exactly what Mama Robin looks like on her nest over here by our house!!!…………”Look out world”……. is right!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Ann Marie – That is a true miracle of life isn’t it? I look forward to seeing the robin babies’ daily progress, until they leave the nest. Evelyn has a perfect place to watch them since she can see inside the nest – at the Park, the nest is over my head. Your nest is lower too if I remember the photo you sent me. I’ll only see babies if they poke their head out of the nest and look at me. 🙂 Bet they hatch at the same time … your Mama Robin and the one at the Park. After all, we saw the gosling babies at the same time. Yours were smaller I think – these looked like teenagers as they were so tall already!

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  3. Those goslings are so precious! Cute robin babies too! 🙂 I usually avoid trying to photograph them (the fledglings) once they start seeing pretty well… they can easily get startled and jump out of the nest all too soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Tom. I will mention that to Evelyn as she can see inside the nest. At the Park, it is above my head, though it looks closer as I zoomed in. The nest at the Park is really deep but messy as if the elements got to it. When I’ve had robins build their nests in my coach light elbow, it is compact and fairly sturdy. I think this one was either hastily assembled or the wind wreaked havoc with it. I hope it lasts til they are ready to fledge.

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  4. You do warm and fuzzy photos so very well! It was fun to see the robin babies.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. John says:

    Very beautiful pictures!😊 Your Canada geese look so much bigger then they we have here in Sweden. I have never seen gosling lying so still, they are so cute. Very nice serie of the robin, from egg to hatching and the cute chicks. I didn’t know they leave their leave their nest so early, already after 13 days! They must develop very quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks John – I knew you’d get a kick out of them. Interesting about the size of the geese … I don’t think anyone is feeding them in the Park … maybe they are going far enough South in the Winter that the grazing is good? Those goslings were very sweet and I couldn’t believe how big they were when I came around the bend the second lap around and they were standing up. I found a website just about baby robins and learned some facts there – couldn’t believe how fast they develop either, but look at how they grew in just two days … my friend sent an e-mail that they were much bigger this morning. She called her vet to see if she should get some supplemental food for the babies and the vet said they’d be fine because Mama Robin would get enough food for them.as she knew where to find it and they have worms in the soil. I’m off to walk … I hear foghorns in the distance … haven’t looked outside yet. Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s amazing that those robins will be flying so soon! They look so vulnerable now… I hope mama takes good care of them. Inch-sized hail? Yikes! When we get it – and that’s not often – the hail stones are about the size of peas. Inch-sized hail must do some damage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      My friend sent me an e-mail this morning to say they were even bigger today … she is surprised how fast they developed too. I am fascinated watching the process from afar … my neighbor had a dove build a nest in an ornamental wire basket on a shelf on her deck. She kept planters and birdhouses on a corner shelf. She documented every day, from the laying of the two eggs (one did not hatch) through when the family left.
      The parents were always close by and she watched from her kitchen window when the baby took its first flight. I had some of the pics in the blog last year. Sadly my neighbor passed away and so I don’t know of the mom and pop built a nest this year or not.

      As to the weather, I could not believe the sound of the hail boucinmg off the house.
      I looked on Weather Underground because they give lots of statistics for the weather history by zip code and they didn’t list hail size, but I got that info from the National Weather Service which I follow on Twitter … since I walk, I try to keep abreast of the weather conditions and I am also a “weather worrier” as well. Sometimes they are wrong, and in this case, the weather folks said “some rain, maybe a thunderstorm” … it was much more. I saw no damage outside – I have metal rolling shutters which protect the windows, but we had bad hail in the past, and it broke through the shutters. I don’t know about other damage that I couldn’t see on the roof/gutters … hopefully none.

      Well, I’m headed off on a walk – 47 degrees, not too balmy for the first week in May … not as nice as your weather in sunny California.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Uncle Tree says:

    Awww…love it! 🙂 Cuter than cute and…well, icky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Yup, those goslings are cute aren’t they Uncle Tree? The robin babies are a “work in progress” and once they open their eyes and get a few more feathers, we’ll say ahhhh to them too. I hope to get more pictures of the baby robins from my friend – she is monitoring the nest daily.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I just adore these photos and the birth of birds in spring 2018!!! It is amazing to witness the lay of eggs, how the mama bird protects the eggs, then she feeds them for few days, then they fly away from your backyard!!! …. oh yes, that happened to me last year with Orioles. They made a nest in a palm tree. It was beautiful, but after they were born, 8 days more or less, they flew away and I missed they chirping so much. This year they haven´t been back yet. I hope they do.
    I loved reading your post and the pictures. It is true, the offspring of spring. Those geese are gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I’m glad you liked these pictures Martha. I look forward to seeing the geese and goslings every May. I’d still like to see the swans which carry their babies on their back. I am walking and my eyes are taking in every corner to make sure I don’t miss any babies. 🙂 Those babies, once they start chirping, make a lot of noise, but it sounds peaceful doesn’t it? My neighbor had the baby dove born on her deck last year. The mom made a nest in an old flower container and my neighbor took pictures every day of the dove, the eggs (one didn’t hatch unfortunately) and then she watched the baby dove taking flying lessons. So cute … he was unsteady on his feet, then one day the whole family was gone. She missed them as well. I hope your Orioles come back this year. They are pretty birds – I don’t seen any around here, but I know people have feeders where they put a half-orange to lure the Orioles to their yard.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. TJ says:

    Awesome wildlife photos!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked them TJ … I look forward to more photos of the goslings as they grow and also more robin photos from my friend ’til they are ready to leave the nest. The robin babies’ progress just amazed me. Thanks for following my blog as well. 🙂

      Like

  10. AJ says:

    WoW amazing post and photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you liked them AJ – those goslings are so cute and fuzzy and in a matter of weeks, they will be large and gangly looking. Hope to get more shots of them as they get older. it would have been wonderful for a robin’s nest to be close enough to school that your students could have viewed the robin eggs, then babies. What a wonderful learning experience for them – heck, it was a learning experience for me as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      • AJ says:

        Yes we watched eagle eggs hatch last year through a camera that had been set up but it would be even cooler to have it in person!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I agree. My neighbor just loved hummingbirds, and when she was confined to home after her COPD got too bad, she had a row of hummingbird feeders at her living room window and on her deck. I found a cool website that had cameras on three different hummer nests. That site has many other critters/birds … https://explore.org/livecams/

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  11. WalkFrederick says:

    So cool. Thanks for sharing these amazing pictures. I hope you didn’t suffer any damage from the hail!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Michelle – Glad you enjoyed the pictures. I always like when it is “gosling time” in the Park. They are so cute when they toddle after their parents. Makes me smile.

      As to the hail, I saw that amount on the National Weather Service (Detroit) report that I follow on Twitter and I don’t doubt it … it was pelting the house with a vengeance. I saw no damage on the metal blinds and/or the siding (we have had problems with both in the past during heavy hail) … hopefully no damage on gutters or roof which I couldn’t see. This weather has been so unusual and volatile in 2018. We have another three days of rain, possible storms during the rest of this week.

      Like

      • WalkFrederick says:

        Goslings are cute. I keep pointing them out to the kids when we’re driving. I haven’t really been walking in goose heavy areas, so I can only see them in drive by. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I’m still waiting to see the swans … I think it is too early as it takes 6 weeks for the eggs to incubate before hatching and a walker saw them building a nest just three weeks ago and now the nest is gone. I have seen no goslings the past two days … they do a good job of blending into the reeds, and swamp grass.

        Like

  12. Ellie P. says:

    Wow. So miraculous!!! Fab pix!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks Ellie – the miracle of new life. Unfortunately, the robin story had a sad ending which I just detailed in today’s post (among other things that I added to the tale) … sadly, a predator got into the nest.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ellie P. says:

        Oh dammit!!! Grr. I’ll get to it maybe tomorrow. That’s so sad.
        Had a big backlog. Catching up gradually. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I know – I am very bummed about it and it caused me to dwell on pets, including birds, through the years and thus spun out today’s blog post.

        I wondered where you were, then saw your post about Margot Kidder yesterday, so knew you were okay … I never knew she was formerly Canadian until yesterday, nor did I know she saw Pierre Trudeau. Where have I been?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ellie P. says:

        Yeah, Margot was from Yellowknife. And – lucky thing – she dated Pierre Trudeau.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I never knew that and interestingly she gave an interview to a reporter on the radio station I listen to all the time. I heard the interview yesterday morning. It was in conjunction with some Comicon (sp?) even that was scheduled for this upcoming Saturday and she was appearing with some others from the Superman movie at the event. She said some unflattering things about Christopher Reeve in the interview and they bleeped her a few times. Apparently, she gave an interview on another radio station last week and was bleeped repeatedly as she threw off a few F-bombs.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ellie P. says:

        Yeah, she sure wasn’t shy about language. 😀 ttyl xox

        Liked by 1 person

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