We noticed that the robin wasn’t around this morning and when I held the camera over the nest, after an hour or so of her absence, this is what the camera saw:
And there were a few feathers in the rose canes beside the nest. The nest is in quite a protected area where big predators like raccoons and ravens would have a hard time sneaking out eggs.
The morning suddenly felt very very quiet. And just now, about to go out the front door, I saw something slip out from stacks of logs in the woodshed, then onto the laundry stoop. A squirrel? No. A short-tailed weasel or stoat (Mustela erminea)! (I thought at first it was a least weasel but they’re smaller and this one has a black tip on the end of its tail, which the least weasel lacks. In winter, this one would be white and we’d call it an ermine.)
We almost never see them but when we do, it’s usually dramatic. This one was very active, moving quickly around the patio, under the deck, then back into the woodshed. Somewhere it might have a family of its own. The females raise their young alone, as many as six at a time. Three robin eggs wouldn’t go very far with a brood like that but this one wasn’t wasting any time this morning, hunting for lunch.