Making the Leap

I’ve been watching this robin’s nest on the window ledge of our new house for the last 10 days and every day I’ve wanted to sketch it. I’ve seen the tiny hatchlings go from half naked and barely opening their eyes to spouting feathers to jockeying each other for position in an overcrowded nest. Still, day after day, more pressing chores related to moving here kept me from picking up a pencil. Then this morning, I decided to get off a quick sketch before going to work, lest I miss the chance. I spent about 15 minutes on this, during which time the bird on the right stood up, stretched its wings, and made a flying leap! What a sight! And what a perfect subject for the start of a new journal and the beginning of a new chapter of my life in a new (very old) house in New York State.
Note: I did have a chance to paint newly hatched birds in this same nest in early June. Robins often raise two broods a year and the birds in today’s sketch are from the second brood. Robins incubate their eggs for 12-14 days and the young take about two weeks to fledge. Both males and females care for the young, feeding them worms, moths, and an assortment of other insects.

25 Comments on “Making the Leap

  1. An absolute lovely sketch of the chicks. I never realized only two weeks in the nest before fledging. That must be why we have so many robins in the area. Thank you for sharing your artistic talent and story

  2. So very beautiful. I just love birds. I had a nest in my tree, but it was too high to really see the babies. That nest and the babies and the momma sure endured some really bad storms, and a lot of rain here in Northwest Florida. It’s amazing how strong those nest are, and how dedicated the momma is to protect her little babies.

  3. It is amazing what can sometimes happen when we take the time to simply sit and observe. The sketch is wonderful.

    • I agree– quite a privilege. This is the first nest I’ve ever really been able to see all the way into and observe over a period of days. It’s been great!

  4. Since I am from upstate New York, and have artistic ties to Western New York, (my grandfather is Charles Burchfield) I’m curious where you have moved to. The countryside of WNY has an amazing subtle beauty!

  5. Last night I went to a remarkable presentation by Jennifer Ackerman on her book, The Genius of Birds. Your bird drawings get me to contemplate bird lives the way Ms Ackerman’s book slows me down to think of their amazing adaptability. P.S. – send pics of your new house… at least a quick sketch.

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