Naughty Kitty ~ Obviously Someone is Feeling Better.

IMG_3713This is a breakfast in bed (hello Trimester Three, perks!) PLAY BY PLAY…

The photos are blurry which sadly is what happens when your iphone camera lens gets all scratched up.

boo. You get the idea  though.

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Great Things Always Begin From Inside

Today’s photo of the three little robins reminds me of the skeksis from Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal. Remember that amazing movie!? Look at their lips? So adorable. They look bug & worm drunk.
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baby robin eggs hatching ~ the videos

Here are the videos I have taken of the baby robin eggs hatching, in the last week. So exciting. I’m nervous for them to take flight ina couple weeks, I gotta say. These tiny iphone videos are pretty sweet. What do you think?

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the baby robin eggs ~ daily photography of the hatching process

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This was a very fun photo experiment. I held up my iphone every day to the nest and took photos or videos. Videos are on youtube & will be published here soon. The nest was discovered on my craftroom porch end of April and now we have baby robins! I posted then about info on bird eggs hatching as I knew nothing about it. I think it takes 14 days to hatch an egg and 14 days til they take flight after hatching!

Best part? screaming out loud when 3 little heads popped up to great my phone, one morning! 

DISCLAIMER: no baby birds or nest were touched / harmed during this photo shoot. 

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Related articles

what I’m learning about Robin’s eggs & more photos

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I’m going to attempt to photo them every day. I’m labeling them day 1 realizing that I have no idea when they were hatched. TODAY I saw momma Robin incubating! Above are today’s photos of the eggs and the nest location on my craftroom porch. I feel a bit weird about this to tell you all the truth. I was vegetarian for many years then ate meat the last decade.. now considering switching back. The connection was not lost on me this morning as I was trying to crack open my breakfast hard boiled egg, with my fake nails ~ while editing bird egg photos. I love nature and plants and animals big time but I’ve never really gained the maturity about the death part of animals. *Kate ~ remember giving me the cycle of life speech at 20 yrs old when Salal cat brought the dead bat into the bathroom for me? *  Currently our 14 yr old aged dog is in his last “days” and it’s heart breaking. When I’m healthy enough I see that it’s all a  beautiful thing but.. what if the baby birds are dead when i hold the camera up there one day? or fall out of their best. Nature meets art, I digress.

The following article came from http://wwwlearner.org/jnorth/tm/robin/EggstaEggstra.html  

Eggstra! Eggstra! The Story of Robin Eggs

The main purpose of a robin’s life is to make more robins. Migration, territory, courtship, nest building, egg laying, incubation, and care of the young are all parts of the breeding cycle. These activities happen so robins can pass their genes on to new generations — and the cycle begins again. Here’s the story behind those little blue eggs and the natural instincts that let mom know what to do.

Early Birds Catch Worms, Then Lay Eggs
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!

An Egg a Day is Work
If you think laying an egg is easy, think again! Robins lay only one egg per day for good reasons. Female birds have one working ovary, unlike mammals, which have two. Ovaries are the organs where eggs are produced. A bird’s ovary looks like a tiny bunch of different-sized grapes. These “grapes” are the ova, or actually the yolks. The one ovum about to be released looks huge. One or two are about half this size, a few more are a bit smaller, and the rest of the ova are tiny. About once a day, the largest yolk is ovulated. That means it pops off the ovary and starts traveling down a tube to the outside of the robin’s body. This tube is called the oviduct.

If a female robin has mated with a male, the yolk will become fertilized. If the robin hasn’t mated, the yolk still goes down the oviduct and will be laid like a normal robin egg, but it won’t develop into a robin. As the yolk travels through the oviduct, the tube’s walls slowly secrete (drip out) watery proteins called albumen to surround the yolk. Near the end of the trip down the tube, the oviduct secretes calcium compounds. The calcium compounds will become the eggshell, but the egg will remain a bit soft until it is laid. You can imagine why the formation of an egg is a tremendous drain on a mother robin’s body!

Stopping At Four
Robins usually lay four eggs and then stop. Like most birds, they lay one egg a day until their clutch is complete. If you remove one egg each day, some kinds of birds will keep laying for a long time, as if they can stop laying only when the clutch of eggs feels right underneath them. Robins normally lay four eggs. 

On The Nest
Until they’ve laid a full clutch, robins allow all the eggs to stay cool so the babies don’t start to develop. That’s pretty smart! It means all the babies hatch close to the same time. Mother robins may start incubating their eggs during the evening after the second egg is laid, or after all the eggs are laid. They sit on the eggs for 12 to 14 days. The female usually does all the incubating. Even in good weather, she rarely leaves her eggs for more than 5 to 10 minutes at a time.

It’s mom’s job to maintain the proper incubation temperature, keeping the eggs warm during cold weather and shaded during really hot weather. She also must turn or rotate the eggs several times daily. She hops on the rim of the nest and gently rolls the eggs with her bill. Turning the eggs helps keep them all at the same temperature and prevents the babies from sticking to the insides of the eggshells. Males only occasionally sit on the eggs, but they hang out in the territory throughout the daylight hours and respond immediately if the female gives a call of alarm. A male may even bring food to feed his mate, but usually she leaves the nest to feed herself.

Some birds, like hawks and owls, lay their eggs when weather is still very cold, and start to incubate as soon as the first egg is laid. The egg they laid on the first day hatches out a day before the egg they laid on the second day, which hatches a day before the third day’s egg. Therefore, the oldest baby may be a lot bigger than the smallest baby. If hunting is very bad and the babies are very hungry, the biggest may sometimes eat the smallest. The oldest baby leaves the nest before the later babies, too.

Sharing Her Body Heat
The eggs must be kept warm to develop. A robin’s body is 104 degrees F. or even warmer. Feathers insulate by keeping the bird’s body heat inside, and the outer feathers can still feel cool to the touch. That’s why female robins need a special way to keep their eggs warm. They have an incubation patch, or brood patch, which is a place on their bellies where their feathers fall out. A mother robin shares her body warmth by parting her outer feathers and then pressing her hot bare tummy against her eggs or her young nestlings. Outer feathers cover the bare area so the brood patch is hidden. (It’s a little like keeping the oven door closed so the heat stays inside.) Scientists who hold a female robin for banding will often blow on the tummy feathers to see if a brood patch is hiding underneath.

Many birds apparently sense the egg temperature with receptors in the brood patches. This helps the birds determine how much time to spend on eggs, and they can change their incubation behavior accordingly. For example, they may sit more or less tightly on the eggs, or leave the eggs exposed while going to feed or drink.

Fighting its way out of the egg isn’t easy for a chick. First it breaks a hole in the shell with its egg tooth, a hard hook on its beak. Then it must struggle with all its might, between periods of rest, to get out. No wonder hatching may take a whole day. 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. Now it becomes a full time job for both parents to protect the nest, find food, and feed the clamoring babies during the 9-16 days they spend in the nest.

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she’s got good eggs

Well someone’s been making a little something, haven’t they? These beauties are in a nest on the craft-room porch. Spotted today April 28, 2012 ~ I will keep a close watch on them and report back! Birds have been a big feature of my Spring on Quadra, as we have no cable. lol. I’m stoked to watch these hatch! From the hot tub, we spotted the momma heading into the nest.  And last night, I was prompted by my friend Berry on Haida Gwaii (via FBK) to buy the Audobon APP for $1 (usually $20 usually) as it was John Audobon’s birthday yesterday. I added it from iTunes and fell asleep learning that Robin’s are in the thrush family. Then today I spy Robin eggs!  In the hot tub I was sure I was seeing Robin’s mating and wondered if the App showed mating rituals? i’ll keep you posted. 

((PS. while writing this post – I had to get up and got outside to photograph a woodpecker on the large Maple Tree outside the window. On my way out I spotted a baby NEWT on our doorstep. Photos of those gems tomorrow. Jen-Geographic to the rescue!))

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Shortbread short listed

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I’m a total farm fresh egg snob now. We love eggs from the neighborhood! This week I was a bit “make” lazy but part of any creative process is purging, organizing, planning. I cleaned out (unpacked from our last move, actually) the recipe file box. I threw out a bunch of hand me downs I’ll never make & honoured some handwritten family & friends recipes by protecting them in ziplocs & filed everything in the kitchen. I made a “to make” pile, all of which my sweety is also excited about. We also have as winter goals 1) learn how to & make Sushi. 2) eat more salmon from the freezer, in creative ways. I’m still in crockpot heaven… Got any crockpot fav recipes or websites for me? I’ll post what I make. Here’s the short list for Xmas baking! Im sure dogbones will also be on the list (for Amos & to take to xmas work potlucks). I’ve never as a grown up, actually made anything for Xmas!

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20111114-150147.jpg Blanche’s Shortbread, Nana’s haystacks & mom’s peanut butter balls. Classics. What are you baking this Xmas? Please share a recipe in my comments?
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Cookies n sunscreen

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Quick post for today! We spent a gorgeous day at our local Rebecca Spit Prov Park! It was 24 degrees but windy! I managed a nice burn through my sunscreen while Corey worked on his summer goal of landing a halibut from his kayak. I brought supplies to make a little sequined something but it was just too windy. He caught a dogfish and 2 sole, neither of which he kept.
We had a 2 hour nap tonight which tells me it’s summer holidays! Then we went on a mission to find local eggs, driving… Wearing our houserobes. Classy islanders. Corey is making peanut butter cookies at 10pm while we watch a movie. Yeah summer!
We are both kayaking all day tomorrow, probably over to Cortes island area. Stay tuned for a great halibut story soon… Ps. When he wasn’t eating halibut bones, Amos slept in the sunny grass all day.

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cooking baking brewing roasting breakfasting

Halibut dog bones

delicious first attempt! Photo of the expert puree'er.

caribbean chicken stew in the house white wine

my very FIRST roast! Wedding crockpot adventures continue!

breakfast in bed from my love.. where shall we go today?

It was a rainy month and lots was produced in the Quadra cabin. The above are just a few “makes” that I thought to take photos of.  We also started Mexican Lime beer and a summer house Pinto Grigos, in our basement that now smells like a hobo. Those photos were less flattering. lol.

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live video of bald eagles!

It’s that time of the year again and I always LOVE to watch the eaglets be born. Does anyone see any eggs yet?  It happens in the spring…I think they have just returned to the nest. Did you know eagles mate for life (unless one dies) and take turns sitting on the eggs? That’s what I’m talking about. Turn up your volume and I recommend full screen if you want to drive your pets nuts. thanks Kate for the annual reminder!

click here to watch LIVE bald eagle video !

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