About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Why I have mud in the bird bath

I'll admit it. Sometimes my bird bath gets dirty but when I saw a BIG MUD clump in the bath yesterday it took me a couple seconds to put the pieces together. American Robin nesting season has begun!

The American Robins choose their Michigan nesting territories in March and they are excited to start nesting. That means they need a lot of grasses and mud to build the perfect nest.

Unfortunately my excited female couldn't find any unfrozen mud to begin construction. She brought a bunch of frozen grasses and dirt to the bath in hopes of getting a jump-start in creating nest building materials. I'm not sure how much mud she took away but she left a lot behind.

Females build the nest from the inside out, pressing dead grass and twigs into a cup shape using the wrist of one wing. Other materials include paper, feathers, rootlets, or moss in addition to grass and twigs. Once the cup is formed, she reinforces the nest using soft mud gathered from worm castings to make a heavy, sturdy nest. She then lines the nest with fine dry grass. The finished nest is 6-8 inches across and 3-6 inches high.
 
Related Articles:
- Why Robins are Attracted to Water http://bit.ly/qP9aTs
- Bird of the Week: American Robin http://bit.ly/pnUKqk
- Fun Facts About The American Robin http://bit.ly/n9CSni
- Why robins are called Robin Redbreast and not orange breast http://goo.gl/OB4iT
Sources:  
AllAboutBirds http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Robin/lifehistory 
Robin building a nest video https://youtu.be/fqgPmnW8yCU?t=2m11s

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