Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | June 15, 2022

Robin Mystery

(3 Minute Read. 15Jun2022)

Robin Eggs at Campground (5/18/22)

This picture of a robin’s nest at our campground from my recent blogs
Robin or Robinosaurus? and
Robins Hatch
was taken on Wednesday May 18, 2022. The four eggs in the nest were each slightly bigger than a quarter in diameter.

Look how much room there is in the nest — plenty of room for many more eggs!

But maybe the nest really is not too big. Maybe it is just the right size.

How did Mama Robin know to make it this big? Why not smaller or bigger?

The robin nest is a beautiful little cup-sized bowl. But it is only used once. Robins usually raise two or three broods each year, and the female builds a new nest for each brood.

4 baby robins (5/31/22)

Robins Hatch & Grow

The four robin eggs hatched one each day May 28-31. Here is a picture of the four baby robins the day the last one hatched on Tuesday May 31.

Notice that there is plenty of room in the nest for the newly-hatched little robins.

The robins will stay in the nest for two weeks before they fly away. The period between hatching and flying is called fledging. Robins have fledged when their feathers and wing muscles are sufficiently developed for flight.

There are a great many robins in our campground, so there must be many nests around — probably mostly in the adjoining woods. But so far I have only found one nest.

Here are some strategies I use in deciding when to quietly follow robins to look for their nests:
– Watch for robins carrying nest material in their beaks like twigs, grass, and mud.
– Watch for robins carrying food to hatchlings in their beaks like worms, grubs, insects.
– Listen for soft cheeps as baby robins beg for food.
– Look for robins nesting near and on human structures.

4 baby robins (6/5/22)

Five days after the robins hatched, I again checked the nest on Sunday June 5. All four baby robins were alive. Here is a picture of the nest.

Look how the hatchlings have grown and have started growing feathers. Notice how much fuller the nest is. Looks like the nest is not too big after all. Don’t miss the four beaks visible in the picture.

Robin Mystery

Three days later I checked the nest again and got a big surprise.

My initial concern about the vulnerability of the nest only a foot off the ground wedged in the legs of a campground picnic table proved prescient.

Robin Nest (6/8/22)

Next is a picture of the surprising nest I saw on Wednesday June 8.

What happened?

This was only half-way through the fledge period, so the little robins did not leave the nest on their own. They were not due to fly away till Tuesday or Wednesday of the following week.

There were no clues to what happened anywhere around the nest. The nest itself was still intact, in place, and seemingly undisturbed. There were no scattered feathers, nor bones, nor carcasses.

Did a raccoon, squirrel, possum, fox, coyote, or dog raid the nest? This is my best guess as to what happened.

Did humans from the campground do it? I doubt this because in that case I think the nest would have been taken or at least moved or disturbed. Also, the chicks were still quite unattractive — scrawny with closed, blue-bulged eyes. I suspect they would appear quite uninviting for the average camper to handle.

Blue jays, hawks, and owls are all present in the park, and they are known to raid other birds’ nests for eggs and nestlings. But I think this possibility is unlikely given the location of the nest wedged in between four sturdy table legs beneath a large, heavy tabletop.

Robin Lesson

It saddened me to find the nest empty because I had looked forward to following the growth of the four little robins. But the incident reminded me of this pericope from the Gospel of Matthew:
Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)

One message of these words of Jesus is that not even a little bird falls to the ground apart from the sovereign will of the Great Creator. Even though I do not know what happened to those little robins, He knows. It occurred according to His will and purpose.

And any time a brood does survive to fledge, any time the fledglings flourish to themselves reproduce, it is by the Great Creator’s sustaining mercy and faithful provision. (Psalm 145:15-17)

Since men are so much more valuable than robins, and since the Great Creator keeps up with robins, we can rest confidently in His will and plan for us, regardless of where it leads.

Even tragedies that may befall me are within the sovereign will and plan of the Great Creator for my ultimate good and His glory. The greatest tragedy of all history, the unjust and cruel execution of Jesus of Nazareth, was ordained by God for His glory and the glorious benefit of mankind.
For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined to occur.
(Acts 4:27-28)
Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. (Acts 2:22-24)

Questions to Ponder

1. How does Mama Robin know how to construct a nest of the proper size?
2. Are you prepared to trust our Great Creator when tragedy strikes?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the prequels:
Robin or Robinosaurus?
Robins Hatch

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday June 15, 2022 A.D.

But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you;
And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you;
And let the fish of the sea declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
That the hand of the LORD has done this,
In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
And the breath of all mankind?
(Job 12:7-10)

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  1. Crows often raid nests for eggs and fledglings. I have witnessed cardinals sneak to their nest in attempt to elude the crows surveillance, to later discover they had failed.


    • You might be right about crows getting the little robins. There are crows here. Thanks for reading and commenting.


  2. Answers. Question 1: God’s wisdom is seen in His creation at the minutest and subtlest of levels and without that pre-programming (in this case, in the genetic code or some might say through instinct) all would be chaos and shortly fail! What magnificent care our Savior/Creator shows us in His magnificent creatures and how they function with such detail yet adaptability.

    Question 2: Yes, brother, I am. More so now than ever but I also know how incredably weak I am so must be under the constant care of my Lord. Shelter in Him is sought by realizing the great a magnificent things He has done to glorify Himself and in worshiping Him. My need is fulfilled in Him, so I pray and seek God’s will in the Scriptures so graciously revealing His will to me.

    All this makes me wish to praise His holy Name. Thank you for the post and may we not mourn too long the sad (probable) demise of these beautiful creatures; not because, as might have been taught in a evolutionarily geared classroom, of blood in tooth in nail is natural but because IT IS NOT and someday it will be put right. Praise to God in the highest!


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