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Robin’s eggs to hatch live on Internet

Auburn woman streams the bird family through webcam
By: Ally Rondoni Journal Correspondent
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Auburn resident Sallysue Stein is sharing her little bundles of feathers with the world. Every year for five years a robin, whom Stein has affectionately named “Roby Robin,” and his mate “Rita Robin,” return to her home to nest. This year though, people everywhere can watch the eggs, scheduled to hatch Thursday, through Stein’s webcam. “I have a blog (thebutterflymind.com), and I decided that it would be fun for people to see the birds I talk about in real time,” Stein said. “The babies literally grow before your eyes. They are fledged and out of the nest in just two weeks.” Stein says she loves having the birds around and hearing them sing. “I don’t seed them,” Stein said. “I just provide a birdbath and some running water.” Stein says this is the second brood for Roby and Rita this year. “It’s just fun (to watch the chicks grow). Roby can be annoying though. He follows me around the house and bangs on my windows. I love it when he has babies because then he’s busy for two weeks,” Stein said. “He sits on my door handles, and follows me around from room to room. He can be a pain!” She describes the nest activity as “very busy” after the hatching. “They usually lay four eggs,” Stein said. If other locals would like this sort of wildlife interaction, they can make their yard wildlife friendly by planting native shrubs, and putting out a water source, like a birdbath, according to Linda Desai, education director at the Placer Nature Center “In the summer, especially when it’s hot, a birdbath can create a little ecosystem that can bring in birds, insects and even bats,” Desai said. Desai reminds nature enthusiasts to observe wildlife safely and from a distance. “Make sure you never get too close. That could be very stressful for the mamma bird, as well as the babies,” Desai said If there is trouble with birds or other wildlife, Desai recommends calling the Gold Country Wildlife Rescue. “They are best to call. They can remove the animals if you need them removed, and they know how to raise them and then release them back to the wild,” she said. “They are great to call, especially if the mother bird has left the babies or if a baby bird falls out of the nest.” Stein’s webcam will be available for viewing on Monday. “I’ve been having technical difficulties but the camera should be working again Monday,” Stein said. “This would be a great thing for kids to watch.” Despite his window pecking ways Stein says Roby is a “mixed blessing.” “I love the birds here, but I wish he’d stop pecking at my windows. But if he didn’t come back, I would miss him,” Stein said. ------------ Want to watch nature in action? Check out Sallysue Stein’s robin webcam at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/robby-the-robbin