This educational tale of the migration, mating, and nesting habits of a pair of robins as they raise and care for their young will delight parents, teachers, and children. Beginning with the welcome return of the robins in early spring, simple language and beautifully detailed colored-pencil illustrations reveal exactly what is happening in those nearby but hidden nests. Included are kid-pleasing details, such as the fact that a newly hatched robin equals the weight of one nickel, and that each robin can eat up to 14 feet of earthworms a day! A glossary, breeding-season time line, and tips on helping injured or orphaned baby songbirds make this book as practical as it is charming.
About the Author
Nancy Carol Willis is a writer, illustrator, and nature lover whose publications include Delaware Bay Shorebirds and Kids Page. Her illustrations are featured in The Rock, Kindermusik Adventures, and Birds of Delaware. She lives in Middletown, Delaware.
Read an Excerpt
The Robins in Your Backyard
By Nancy Carol Willis
Birdsong BooksCopyright © 2000 Birdsong Books
All rights reserved.
On a frosty March morning, patches of crunchy snow lie on brown grass.
"Cheerily, cheer-up, cheerily," sings the robin redbreast to herald springtime's arrival.
Every spring, robins fly north from their southern home to nest in the land where they were born.
Some robins migrate over 1,000 miles in two weeks. To guide them, the birds use rivers, mountains and coastlines, like road maps.
When they arrive, the robins are tired and hungry. Scratch, poke, plunge! The robin gulps a hatching insect.
Before long the male robin claims a territory. "Cheerily, this yard is mine," he sings. His song attracts several females, but only one will choose him as her male. Together they begin to make a nest.
The female selects the fork of an evergreen branch. It's well-hidden where people and animals will not disturb it. She weaves twigs softened by morning dew. Her mate brings straw and bits of string.
Next, she packs the inside of the nest with wet mud. She presses her body against the sides to form a cup. Finally, she lines the nest with fine, soft grasses.
Several days have passed, and now there are three shiny, blue eggs in the nest. The eggs stay warm under mother robin's breast feathers. From time to time, she rolls each egg to keep it warm all over so that the baby inside can grow.
Excerpted from The Robins in Your Backyard by Nancy Carol Willis. Copyright © 2000 Birdsong Books. Excerpted by permission of Birdsong Books.
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