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Robin’s Nest Sighting Proves This Year to be the Ultimate Spring Luxury

The sighting of a hidden robin's nest on a New York City terrace proves to be for a mom and her kids the ultimate spring luxury experience

It has been said that “one swallow does not make spring, nor does one fine day.” But when you live in an apartment in New York City, the arrival of even a single emissary from the natural world can be cause for jubilation. Our correspondent Jillian Tangen is sharing her first-hand experience this spring, along with her three daughters, of observing a family of baby robins hatching on her city terrace. With adorable photos to illustrate what she saw! Just in time for the beginning of Spring, it’s a reminder that sometimes the most precious luxury experiences are free. Here’s our account of the surprise luxury experience of sighting a robin’s nest in New York City this spring.

hidden robin’s nest in New York becomes the ultimate spring luxury

Much has been written about the rites of spring. Renewal, forgiveness, fresh starts and flowers are all celebrated throughout the world as the cold of winter melts away and a new beginning springs.

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Many people focus on New Year’s as a time for introspection and resolution, but it’s in spring that the world seems to come back to life, anew with budding flowers, bird’s singing and hope rising.

In Japan there is Hanami that marks the season. While in the UK, there are April showers followed by May Day celebrations filled with flowers, ribbons and maypole dancing.

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Closer to home in New York there’s the annual blossoming of Central Park, coupled with a bourgenening calendar of galas, art shows, sports and seasonal outdoor performances. All of which are even more special after the past year’s difficulties with the pandemic.

a robin’s nest sighting in New York City

Generally speaking though, most New Yorkers don’t really get to encounter the type of spring rebirth we read about in books or see in a David Attenborough documentary. But this year my family and I were lucky enough to get to experience some of the magic of spring’s nature first hand when a pair of birds built a nest on the terrace of our New York City apartment this May.

robins nest New York

The sighting of a hidden robin’s nest on a New York City terrace proves to be for a mom and her kids the ultimate spring luxury experience. Photo Credit: Jillian Tangen.

At first I thought the nest I came upon deep in our holly bush was abandoned. It was loosely made and seemed to be composed of a mix of twigs, brush and sadly, some plastic pieces. I considered tossing it out thinking it was abandoned or that worse – it belonged to a pigeon.

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But our three young daughters convinced me otherwise.  “What if there’s eggs coming, Mommy?” my middle child pleaded. After a year of keeping them indoors and saying no to practically everything, I didn’t have the heart to ruin their excitement. I left the nest untouched.

The sighting of a hidden robin’s nest on a New York City terrace proves to be for a mom and her kids the ultimate spring luxury experience. Photo Credit: Jillian Tangen.

Weeks went by and soon we discovered that it was the pair of robins who were building up the nest and that they had laid three beautiful, Tiffany worthy blue eggs. For two weeks our family kept close watch while the mama robin sat patiently on the eggs and the male robin sang and brought her food.

The surprise luxury of sighting a robin’s nest in New York. Photo Credit: Jillian Tangen.

Then finally, just before Mother’s Day, the eggs hatched. We were able to see three newborn baby robins with mama and daddy robin taking turns feeding them. This giving us a small glimpse of the true meaning of spring in the midst of the urban jungle.

The surprise luxury of a robin's nest in New York.

The surprise luxury of sighting a robin’s nest in New York. Photo Credit: Jillian Tangen.

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Despite having grown up in upstate New York, I’ve never seen something so special up close. I’m sure these events happened around me all the time without me knowing, but I never stopped and took the time to see them. Perhaps if it weren’t for Covid keeping our family at home this spring, we wouldn’t have looked so closely into the holly bush to see the nest.

robins nest New York

The surprise luxury of sighting a robin’s nest in New York. Photo Credit: Jillian Tangen.

After only a few weeks with the robins I can now identify the difference between the male and female robin. I can recognize their song when they communicate that they are bringing food. And as a family we’ve now taken to identifying other birds around our neighborhood. We have been slowing down our pace as we stroll from place to place. Witnessing this precious act has helped us to appreciate the beauty of what is around us even more than usual this season.

robins nest New York

The sighting of a hidden robin’s nest on a New York City terrace proves to be for a mom and her kids the ultimate spring luxury experience. Photo Credit: Jillian Tangen.

Despite the fact that we are well into spring and that the unofficial start of summer is just around the corner, the robins, like the season, are a timely reminder to break yourself out of your daily routine. Open your windows, get outside, plant something or have a picnic. The winter is over. There is no better time than now to enjoy the fresh air, have some fun or do something completely new.

how a robin’s nest in New York City proved to be a luxury

So, that’s our story of how the sighting of a hidden robin’s nest on a New York City terrace proves to be for a mom and her kids the ultimate spring luxury experience. A marvelous discovery can surprise and delight. What was the best thing that happened to you this spring, dear reader?

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Jillian Tangen is the Head of Research at Dandelion Chandelier and a former Senior Research Analyst at McKinsey & Co and Analyst at Shearman & Sterling. She is an avid fan of Nordic design, having owned an independent lifestyle store and sales agency focused on emerging Scandinavian design. Jillian lives in New York and is married with three young children. She loves cross-country skiing, the New York Rangers, reading, travel and discovering new brands.

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