The red-breasted American Robin represents the official start of spring and of new beginnings.
The Robin is a powerful symbol of parenting and hard work in the bird kingdom. Its values are as firm as its boundaries. Visibly willing to sacrifice itself for its young by distracting anything bigger that comes near its babies, it shares this innate, altruistic trait with humans.
The Robin shows how to care for its young by regurgitating its food and putting it directly into the throats of the babies in the nest. The babies are too helpless to feed themselves and rely on the adults of the tribe for food and shelter, another shared human trait.
Upon breaking out of the egg, the baby is extremely weak and tired. They can often be heard chirping for food. Their bodies are so fragile that their eyes are barely open. Even though they are unable to fully open their eyes, they innately know that they need to stick their neck straight up and open their mouths to receive a meal from their parents.
The mommy and daddy birds spend their days hunting for worms and foraging the forest to support their young.
Shelter comes from relentless work and Robins will spend their days finding hay or dead grass to weave and wrap tightly into a perfect nest. The nest is hidden as best as possible. Nests can be found in trees, on top of wood fences, anywhere that they will be semi-protected by the elements.
The Robin will only stay in the nest long enough to lay the eggs and keep them warm for a while. The signature eggs are so unmistakable that Crayola has named a crayon after them, Robin’s egg blue.
Once the babies are hatched the adult bird will stay away from the nest, not too far away, but not so close that predators can easily spot the babies inside.
After a couple of days, the robins are ready to leave the nest. They do not travel far though; they first need to practice flying. In the days following their initial departure from the nest, the babies can be seen flying short distances at heights that are close to the ground.
While the adolescent birds are learning to fly, the parents can be seen close by. Happy with their role in the reproduction process. I have been fortunate enough to witness these beautiful button-eyed birds begin to share the joy of nature with the youngest and newest tribe members.
These birds can often be seen looking like stealth ninjas fluttering towards each other. As one bird moves in for the attack, the other jumps upwards a couple of feet off the ground maneuvering remarkably before torpedoing downward on 45-degree angles. From my observation it is unclear whether this is a pattern of mating, playing or fighting. My guess is that it is a game.
The song the Robin sings to the other birds and other robins, in particular, is original in its own right.
This bird signifies renewal and is one of the first of the spring.
By May the Robin can be seen aerating lawns around North America while digging for worms.
If you see a nest, you may get close up and view the beautiful blue eggs but please do not touch them or momma will be mad.