If I sit quietly, and don’t disturb mom robin from the nest, I get to stay outside. I can even set up a camera and light stands and strobes. The kids barely fit in the nest now. It looks like they’re about to spill out when a parent comes to feed them. I dare not try and put a camera on the branch again, as they probably would fledge prematurely.
It is a treat to see a Robin nest make it this far in this neighborhood given the crow problem that we have. I regularly see crows carting off nestlings this time of year, with Robins in hot pursuit. Between them and the cats not much makes it to term here. Over the decade I’ve witnessed the species diversity in the neighborhood decline. Nuthatches are gone. Towhees are gone. Bushtits are getting scarce. I think one reason this nest may make it is that it is so close to where we hang out, which keeps the crows and the cats at bay.
This afternoon I set up a camera with a 300mm lens, and a couple of strobes on light stands, and alternated watching the nest and reading a book for a couple of hours. Dad did most of the feeding and cleaning (by which he flies off with the fecal sack). Mom stood watch over the nest. She used to brood them, but they must be getting a bit large for that now. If mom doesn’t get upset, dad doesn’t raise a ruckus, and I can sit in peace.
The book I am reading, between nest visits, is Robert Adams "Beauty in Photography." His formalist, classical predilictions mirror my own, but I find he’s even more conservative toward photography and the experience of art than I am. He marshalls his evidence toward foregone conclusions, and the logic strikes me as too tidy. I would like to be left with more questions. But he conveys his sympathies in an articulate and coherant manner and it’s a good read, even if only to sharpen a mental rebuttal.
There is a period, before the shade of the neighbor’s chestnut tree overtakes the yard, when the light hits the nest and the birds in it are outlined by a halo of sun. There is no question that the main subject of the day is Beauty.