The Robin is Back


stopping the robin nest building 2.jpg Happy Easter everyone.
I’ve been enjoying the day reading Charles Kupchan‘s excellent new book titled How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace. As far as I’m concerned, this is one of the real must reads of this season.
But as I have been sitting on my porch, the robin that I wrote about last year has returned and is again valiantly trying to build a nest where one can’t be built — just on the inside corner of my front porch roof.
She has strewn building materials all over the porch — and thus I had to go get the rubber duck that so many of you liked last year and put him in the erstwhile nesting spot.
The robin is looking at me this moment with an irritated scowl. Another day, I may actually build a slightly larger platform for her to get the nest safely in place — but not today.
Hope Spring is working out nicely for everyone.
The robin just pooped on my porch.
— Steve Clemons


12 comments on “The Robin is Back

  1. Sweetness says:

    POA’s right about Robins’ nesting habits, I think.
    Maddow did mention Israel and the Democrats pretty strongly. Can’t say whether the earth moved, however.


  2. WigWag says:

    Wasn’t Kupchan spectacularly wrong about Kosovo?
    In 2005 and then again in 2008 he wrote articles in Foreign Affairs urging the United States and Europe to push for independence for Kosovo.
    Has this done anything but make the Balkans even less stable than they were before and make relations between Russia and the United States even worse than they already were?
    Here are the links,


  3. DonS says:

    My favorite bird nesting story is the one about the wrens that decided to nest in the spare tire on the back of my CRV. I drove the nest around town for a while until I actually noticed it. So I took it off and hung it from the carport wall until the whole process was over and the birds left the nest.
    This is the part that Steve will appreciate: the wrens attempted the same thing the next year .. . which I notices pretty quickly. So I covered removed the nest making and covered the tire. But, I did put a nest ‘matrix’ up in the carport. However, true to their quite unique nature, the wrens did not choose to nest there.
    Reminds me, I need to get out there and cover that spare tire post haste.


  4. Thomas L Sjovall says:

    Spring is hear Steve.
    Hope your Easter went well.


  5. Bart says:

    For the second straight year a pair of flycatchers are building a nest in a similarly angled location outside our back door. Only this couple builds a nest on a light cable no thicker than my little finger; at most 1/2 inch.


  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    I don’t think Robins will use a bird house. And as many here have pointed out, it would be very simple to provide a foundation for a nest. My suggestion would be a wooden bowl or saucer/plate, cut to fit the corner, and siliconed down. It would be cheap, would not require putting holes in the column, and could be removed easily without leaving damage or traces.
    But the flavor of Steve’s essay gives me the impression that he doesn’t really want the bird nesting on his porch. Maybe Nadine could suggest an appropriate poison that can be successfully used to eliminate this particular member of an inferior species.
    Hey Steve, read Raimondo’s piece about Maddow. Can’t say I disagree with his opinion. I used to enjoy Maddow, but now am finding her increasingly shrill, partisan, and irresponsibly status quo as just another media mouthpiece hawking policy, in a manner polar to what a responsible member of the “Fourth Estate” should be doing. You haven’t by chance ever heard her say the word “Israel”, have you? And if so, did the earth move?


  7. Philippe says:

    Quick and dirty solution 4 long nails or screws to extend the platform. The bird will know how to use various means to attach its nest


  8. Carroll says:

    Please go buy the Robin a bird house and nail it up in the corner of the porch.
    I had to that for a sparrow that was trying to nest in the eves of my back porch.
    The nicer and smaller birds like sparrows and robins don’t like to be out in a free standing bird house because the bigger meaner birds raid them.
    If you do that the robin won’t make a mess on your porch, everything she drops or that falls out she will pick up and return to the nest so that predators will not notice any evidence of her nest.


  9. David says:

    Speaking of spring growth and things returning, the wild blackberries have returned to the family homestead after a long absence. Big blossoms, even though the plants are quite young and quite small. And the air in the yard is heavy with the intoxicating smell of orange blossoms. That smell kicks a whole childhood of memories into gear.


  10. DonS says:

    Chary, chary, chary. Just put a little moulding up around the existing platform and the robin will do just fine. Its not like its an dangerous predator or something. And it apparently likes your porch. Be grateful, and enjoy (when you are in town!) the fun of watching the youngsters fledge. But I must say, if this were a really smart robin, it would have none of this rubber ducy stuff, and would cast it away forthwith.
    Spring in SW Virginia just sprung, like in DC. After years of drought, lots of moisture has has encourage reluctant vegetation, and after a really cold winter, the recent abnormally hot weather has everything racing to sprout, bloom, etc. But, you know, global warming doesn’t exist.
    Which brings me to Don Bacon’s point — diplomacy, what’s wrong with practicing it even if nation on nation conflict is down? Reminds me of the global warming deniers — which I am not arguing at the moment. Even IF global warming is not a man enhanced phenomena, what’s wrong with practicing good ecology and alternate energy efficiency just for that sheer ethical implications, i.e., like not denuding the planet of non-renewable resources . . . just because we can.
    Of course what joins these two matters, diplomacy vs conflict, and ecology vs profligacy of resources, is that the countervailing “arguments”, if one must dignify them, are corporate, moneyed models and interests. Or let’s just say, reactionary, stuck in the mud, establishment interests. Not that ‘new thinking’ would not produce significant wealth and growth. Just that it doesn’t fit the short term corporate models.
    So get new models! And, while you’re at it, accommodate the robins.


  11. Don Bacon says:

    Charles Kupchan has been writing extensively about the end on the American era and has warned the US to shy away from an isolationist policy that could alienate potential partners. The jury is still out on that one.
    He takes a different tack in this book with the debatable (I don’t believe it) premise that conflict between nations is to be expected, but said conflict can be avoided with diplomacy. The end of the cover blurb: “In a world where conflict among nations seems inescapable, How Enemies Become Friends offers critical insights for building lasting peace.”
    The truth is that there are currently no major conflicts between nations, and there haven’t been for some time. Almost everybody’s getting along rather well. (The Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts are called “insurgencies”, and I/P isn’t nation on nation.) While there are internal conflicts going on in certain nations, and terrorist acts, there is no major international combat involving national armies and navies between any of the two hundred nations in the world. Where is the inescapable conflict?
    So in not accepting the premise (the inevitability of international conflict) I don’t see the applicability of the remedy, except to say that diplomacy is always a good idea, which is why the US has a state Department with the motto “Diplomacy in Action” (I know).
    What am I missing?


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