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Surprise in the Planter Update

May 4, 2013

A couple of days ago, I posted about the surprise I found in one of my front planters: a robin’s nest with an egg in it. Since I had been near the planter — and even had to move it — I wasn’t sure that the momma bird would come back.

I was pleasantly surprised a second time when the bird came back and settled right into the planter as if it had never been touched. Every time I checked on the nest from a safe distance, she was comfortably nestled in the straw bed.

I was content just to watch from a distance until she and her (hopefully-soon-to-be) hatchling leave the nest.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature has had other ideas.

The last few days have been incredibly windy across Oregon. Wind, of course, dries out planters. Especially hanging planters. I have drip line set up to each, but after a couple of days of relentless winds, at least one of the hanging baskets was showing wear.

I finally resolved to go out with my ladder to see if I could get close enough to pour a bit of water in the edge of the planter. I started at the planter on the far end of the porch and could see that the momma bird was in the planter again.

Robin 1

The dent in the top of the planter is even more pronounced.

Robin 2

You can just barely make out her head in the middle of the planter.

I watered the other planters and slowly moved the ladder closer to her home.

Robin 3

Trying to ignore me.

Robin 4

Really trying to ignore me.

Robin 5

I can practically hear her saying, “Are you kidding me? Get away from my nest.”

Robin 6

“If I ignore her, maybe she’ll go away.”

When I decided to move to the top step of the ladder to try to get a better picture of her, she decided I was too close and left the nest. I decided it was the perfect opening to add a little water to the planter. I moved the ladder over and poured in about three cups of water on the very edge, making sure none of it hit the nest. Amazingly — unlike the other planters, which sucked up every drop — some of the water poured out of the bottom of this planter. While the soil was drier than I would have liked it, it clearly wasn’t as thirsty as the other plants. I don’t know if the nest is insulating the soil, so that it’s not losing moisture as fasts, but clearly it is doing better than the others.

Robin 7

While I watered the planter, the momma bird kept a close eye on me.

The moment I stepped off the ladder and started to fold it up, the momma bird immediately flew back to her nest and settled in again, letting me know that I should not expect her to give up that space too quickly.

We have one more day of high winds ahead of us. I only hope that the planters can make it through without more waterings.

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