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Examiner
  • Birds and children take flight in their own time

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  • Is it me, or have you heard birds in the early morning? I can hardly wait for warm weather.
    Add to it, I've seen robins in the backyard. Between their singing and their bright colors, I welcome the robin families to my trees.
    Often, when I am on the phone, I'll see a robin land on my fence line, then fly, bounce, fly, bounce fly across my yard.
    I recall my mom telling me that robins were named by the early American (really English) settlers. When they first saw a robin, this made the settlers very homesick.
    Therefore, they named the robin after their English robin redbreast, a bird which was smaller and richer in color.
    I have a question. Why are male robins so colorful compared to the dull color of the female? Shouldn't that be opposite?
    Think of the human species. The men I associate with wear dark or gray suits. The women I know wear every color there is. Oh well.
    And the gorgeous robin egg,
    At learner.org. I found the following information about robins.
    “Most birds lay their eggs at sunrise, but NOT robins! They lay their eggs at mid-morning. That's several hours later than most birds lay eggs. For robins, this makes good sense. Robins eat a lot of earthworms during the breeding season, and they use those early dark hours to hunt for worms because worms are most available before the sun gets too high.
    “Robins lay their eggs mid-morning after feasting on worms. A robin can then fly over to her nest, and lay her eggs easily. But most other birds seem to need a long period of quiet before they can lay eggs. Those other species can get a big breakfast even if they eat late because they don't want worms anyway!
    My first Missouri experience with robins was eventful. I had never seen robins or robin eggs, other than in a book.
    My backyard nest held eggs that were bluish green, a gorgeous beautiful color. I've been told that the females will lay from one to four eggs, normally.
    A robin's nest is made of mud and reinforced with grass and twigs. The nest can also be lined with softer grasses, and placed in a tree or on a ledge or windowsill. Robins usually have two broods a season.
    The eggs usually hatch a day apart in the order they were laid. Naked, reddish, wet, and blind, the babies require A LOT of food. However, within 9-16 days, the children leave in the nest.
    Just a minute, robin children only live at home for 9-16 days? My babies stayed with me, some for 25 years.
    Page 2 of 2 - I am motivated, to conclude with a poem:
    I wish my children were robins, instead,
    'Cause the years with teens, run slow.
    The robin children take their flight,
    After two weeks, they leave, they go.
    No wonder mom robin is happy in flight.
    And she sings and bounces all day.
    Just teaching one teen how to drive,
    Made me shriek and run away.
    The years with children is slow to end,
    Sometimes, they leave, and come back
    We may have downsized, we love them so.
    But they multiplied . . . and that's the fact.
    The robin is pretty, and a sign of spring
    Dawn to dusk, sings sweet simple songs.
    I'm just as happy, with my children near
    As long, as they don't stay, too long.
    Diane Mack is coordinator of Putting Families First, Jackson County’s Family Week Foundation. Email her at jacksoncountyfamilyweek@yahoo.com or visit www.jacksoncountyfamilyweek.org.

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