In the course of less than two days, all four baby robins have hatched out. The eggs are gone, completely replaced by hatchlings. But it is still too early to know how many will survive to fly away.
I was lucky to be able to see the very last one emerge from its egg shell.
This was a slow process that started early yesterday morning and culminated just around noon. At first it was just a tiny hole, then later we could see the beak, and quite a while later, the egg shell was almost divided in two, with the creature inside visibly moving.
And then, it suddenly happened so fast!
Still looking a lot like an unformed human fetus, it came out all at once.
And now there are four baby robins in the nest by my door.
But oddly enough, in the nest by the fence, the third egg never hatched. Here is what the nestlings look like by comparison.
The robin mother who laid her eggs first and whose eggs began to hatch first is not the one who will necessarily bring up the largest number of young.
But whether hatched or unhatched, these little ones have no chance of survival without the parents' help. They don't become individuals until they leave the nest. And this, for a lot of people is a problematic concept.
What does Bow think about the baby robins? He said to me, when pressed: טוב שצפור אמא. "It's good that the bird is a mother." His focus was entirely on the mother robin and her right to reproduce. He did not care about the babies at all.
How do we recognize a parent robin? It's that bird that comes at you when you are looking at the babies in the nest. They can get very upset with you if they think you are meddling with their young. Nature gives them a fierce protective instinct, because if the mother bird did not care, who would? In nature, we so seldom see bad mothers, because the offspring of bad mothers do not survive. I favor a non-interventionist policy that keeps it that way. So I film what I see, but I don't interfere. Laissez faire! That's my motto.
For those of my readers in Texas County Missouri, there is a meeting tonight, May 4th at Checo's Mexican restaurant in Licking with a representative of the Austin Petersen campaign. Dinner at 6:30pm. Speaker at 7:30pm. Pay for own meal.