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Got Mud?

"You know you have nesting robins nearby when your bird bath suddenly gets very dirty! That's her cleaning herself up after shaping her nest with her chest." Sarah Roney Dalton

This robin carries mud in her beak. Her breast feathers are muddy too. Mud is important for building a robin nest. Using mud lets her make the nest deep and round. She uses her chest to push and shape the nest into a nice curved bowl exactly the right size to hold in her body warmth. She wants her nest snug enough so her body heat doesn't leak out. That's how she keeps the eggs—and then the babies—warm underneath her. Learn more about the nesting cycle in this week's report!

Photo: Wayne KrydubaFemale robin with mud on her breast and a beakful of mud for building her nest.