Boy, is my Face Red
Otherwise known as "birdwatcher fail".
In 2008, we had a couple of pairs of phoebes try to build mud nests over our door, and later, over the window of our bedroom.
I fended them off by stapling paper over the 1-inch ledges, but I also found some plans and built a phoebe nesting platform, which I mounted on the north side of the house.
The way these things seem to work is that if I build it, they go away and never come back. I saw and heard phoebes last year, but nary a one tried to build a nest on the platform.
This year, overnight it seemed, a robin's nest appeared on the platform. Well, robins are quieter than phoebes, at least. But I never saw a bird on or near the nest.
Day after day I watched: no bird, nothing on or in or near the nest.
Finally, after almost a week, I decided to clear the platform. I thought maybe a cat or a hawk or something had gotten the robin that built it, and if the platform was bare another bird might use it.
This morning I looked out there automatically and there was a robin. Yes! Poor robin, sitting on the bare platform, fluffed up like a broody hen.
I cannot tell you how bad I felt. Bad, bad birdwatcher!
Could I repair my error?
I found the nest. I stood up on a bucket and felt three warm robin eggs in the bare wooden nesting platform. Okay, eggs in nest, nest on platform.
Then I waited.