Last weekend I headed to the North Fork for a weekend of good friends, good food, and cycling along meandering country roads. There was a surprise element that made for some excitement and what could only be considered deluxe bird watching.
In a blue spruce not more than 12 feet from the kitchen window of my hosts, Tony and Marla, a pair of robins was rearing four chicks. Binoculars were parked on the window sill so anyone passing through—and there were quite a few visitors—could closely observe the amazing work of feeding the ravenous four and keeping them clean and safe. On Friday (image below) the chicks seemed small and vulnerable; by Sunday afternoon, the largest was dancing along the branch supporting the nest, flapping its wings and shaking its tail. That one was ready to rock!
Video capture from The Robins' Nest by Tony Bettler.
On Sunday, Marla took a spade to the garden, loosening the earth for planting. The moist rich loam was crawling with worms; immediately the avian adults began fearlessly swooping in for beakfulls of wigglers. The biggest part of their job suddenly became easy.
The image above is a still from the video Tony shot over the weekend. Watching the chicks’ progress and the parents’ labor, in close-up on a 40-inch monitor, was utterly mesmerizing. And so much better than standing around in the cold, waiting for something to happen.
Tony Bettler served as the official photographer and videographer on several expeditions to the Amazon to study freshwater fish with a group of scientists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The Robins’ Nest video will soon be posted on View2xl. Stay tuned for a DART Board update!