Project 366 – Post No. 023 – Nesting Robins in Jasper National Park

What is Project 366? Read more here!

We had stopped for a coffee break at the pull-out parking at the Edith Cavell trail head in Jasper National Park. This highway (93A) is the old Ice Fields Parkway that connects Jasper NP and Banff NP. These days, however, it is a quaint backroad that sees little traffic. As we were enjoying our coffees I noticed a pair of Robins flittering about among the pine trees. They always seemed to return to the same spot after a short fly-about through the forest. I grabbed my binoculars and the camera and headed towards the spot. After following their flight patterns I realized that the tree they always returned to had a nest in it. It was a small Douglas Fir right by the parking lot. I set up my camera on a tripod and zoomed in on the nest from quite some distance. They ignored me and continued to fly-about, regularly returning to the nest to sit in it for a while. I suspected they might have eggs so to avoid stressing them with my presence I walked back to the car and was able to operate my camera remotely from my cell phone. Although I have seen people remote operating the Nikon P1000 on YouTube, I had not tried this on my own and was a bit sceptical about whether it would work. Turns out it worked surprisingly well. While one is pretty much limited to controlling the zoom and shutter, the pictures I got are the sharpest bird images I have managed to take with this camera so far. And of course, me not standing by the camera potentially affecting their behaviour, the Robins did what comes naturally to Robins. When we arrived in Jasper yesterday I thought that spring might be more delayed here than in Edmonton, but I have been proven wrong. The Robins are nesting (I have not even seen a Robin in Edmonton yet), the willows are breaking out and the wild crocuses are blooming all along the trails.

May the curiosity be with you. This is from “The Birds are Calling” blog (www.thebirdsarecalling.com). Copyright Mario Pineda.

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