The Robin’s Nest

One of my plans for this winter is to build a bunch of bird houses to distribute around the property. I thought I would begin by doing something for the robins that nest on our front porch.

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Here’s the nest from last year. No fewer than three robin chicks fell out of the nest in the course of the year. That’s just the ones I knew about. I scooped them up and put them back in the nest. An interesting thing about robins… they won’t nest more than about 8′ above the ground (or deck, in this case). I’ll bet you that’s about all a fat little robin chick can survive falling.

Anyhow what we really see here is that our robin wasn’t using an adequate space. A robin’s roost should measure 6” x 8”. The top of this strut measures only 6” x 4”.

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So I built a little platform for the nest. You can see it here before I put it up on the strut. You can see that I put a little 1/2” oak lip around the edge of it. That’ll help the robin mama have perch and purchase as she works on her nest.

Robins are mudders. They work the muddy soil from the wet spring season with grass and straw to make a pretty secure little bowl for raising their young. I’ll bet you they like this red clay soil around here a lot better than I do.

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So here’s the finished product after I secured it. The eave of the house pretty much protects them from the wind and elements. And now the mama robin will have a very nice upgrade in a tough housing market.

I also built one on the other side of the porch. Most birds, robins included, are very territorial and can’t tolerate being too close to their own kind. But if a robin doesn’t take the other I’d imagine that a phoebe or a sparrow might.

Okay this wasn’t a very impressive bird house project. I’ve several I’d like to start pretty soon. I’ve been cutting 3/4” wood board pieces of various dimensions so that I can make several at once. I’m researching all the little details like the size of the floor and ceiling favored by different breeds, how big the entry needs to be, where it should be located, and so forth.

I expect I’d better get started because there isn’t much winter left. Though that fat rodent up in Puxatawny said there’s be another four weeks (from now) to be sure.

Questions comments & impassioned speeches to Bud Houston: BudHouston@hughes.net. And Check out my new publication the Idea BookAgility Training for a Small Universe available at www.dogagility.org/store.

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3 Responses to “The Robin’s Nest”

  1. Marsha Nix Says:

    Bruce and I put up a cedar fence (~400 ft.) last Nov. when we moved into our new house in Monticello. We cut down the 6′ boards to 5′, so we have a lot of cedar boards left. Bruce has made 2 prototype bird houses. We were thinking about making a bunch and selling them at the local farmer’s market this spring/summer. Let me know if you would like the dimensions.

  2. budhouston Says:

    Hey Marsha,

    So… how much would you sell them for? Have you considered eBay? You’ll reach a bigger audience than the local farmer’s market.

    Bud

  3. Marsha Nix Says:

    You are right; we probably would make more selling on Ebay, but it’s a pain in the butt. We haven’t really discussed price; I was thinking $10. Oh – and the farmer’s market is so much more “friendly”. After living in Arkansas, I have really learned the gift of gab.

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