Thursday, May 24, 2012

To the Rescue!

I came home from work a bit late tonight, and on my drive noticed the wind was pushing my car to the side a bit. When I got home, I discovered that wasn't all the wind was knocking about.

There is a robin's nest  on the corner of my house. This nesting pair likes to build on top of the rain gutter downspouts. This one is particularly attractive to them because the honeysuckle is starting to grow up onto the downspout.
The honeysuckle is incorporated into the nest, but it is not well attached to the downspout. When the wind blows, the honeysuckle tends to pull the nest to the side and tilt it sideways. The robins made two or three attempts to get a stable nest. Each time it pulled over, the robins simple built a new nest on top. They final got one to stay upright long enough to raise a chick, but the nest was tilted at a 45 degree angle by the time it fledged.
Then robins built yet another nest, and I figured their problem was solved. Until I came home and saw the wind caused the honeysuckle to pull the nest entirely off the downspout.

The nest was now suspended by the honeysuckle at waist height and a precarious angle. I could see this spelled disaster for the robins, they would have to abandon the nest. Mother Robin hadn't given up yet though; she was nearby, fussing at me for being too close to her nest.

THIS, I thought, was a job for Duct Tape!

Alas, I couldn't find my duct tape, and I thought it was important to hurry. I grabbed some old wire (Thanks, Dad!) and proceeded to strap the nest back up on the downspout. I cut it loose from the honeysuckle at the same time, so my shoddy repairs ought to hold until a chick can fledge.

In this last picture you can see two of the older nests, tilted nearly 90 degrees towards the camera (well, towards my iPad. I didn't have time to grab a real camera.). The current nest is on top, obscured in this photo, but back on the level.
I packed up my ladder and went in for my supper, and didn't get back out before dark to check if Mother Robin has returned to the nest, and I din't want to disturb her any more for one day. I will update in the morning when I can confirm she has returned.

*** Update: Mother is back, and all appears well.