We’ve all heard the expression “the early bird catches the worm” and those are wise words to live by.
Most of the time anyway.
This morning I awoke at 3:00 a.m. to the pitter patter of rain on the patio roof. It began slowly, evolving into a pounding rain for about ten minutes and slackened off. Then the thunder began, a few rumbles here and there, then everything was silent. Good – no walk missed this morning because there have been enough of those rainy mornings this Spring. By the time I headed out, the ground was soggy, the pavement still damp but a faint sun was making a valiant effort to poke through the clouds.
This incessant rain has been a boon for the birds, the robins in particular. Mother Nature’s showers have topped off birdbaths or provided puddles on the street, and, if you’ve ever watched a bird splish-splashing around in a birdbath, you know what I mean … it is nirvana to our fine feathered friends.
Near-daily rain and storms have really put a damper on this Spring. I know it has certainly messed up my plans several times already. But the robins are loving the wet weather and there is much peckin’ and grinnin’ goin’ on. Robins love worms and it is a common sight after a big rain to watch a robin tugging on a long juicy worm, clasping it in its beak and holding on while the worm similarly holds on tight in the damp earth. Unfortunately for the worm, the robin usually wins this tug of war, and soon you see that red-breasted bird slurping down the worm, just like when you were a kid and sucked in those spaghetti noodles until your mother’s disapproving look made you stop.
This morning’s early rain brought out the earthworms, and I saw several of them slithering across the sidewalk enroute to the Park. I thought “better get to the other side as you are a sitting duck for the robins” as I watched them make their slow journey across the still-damp pavement.
Once I arrived at the Park, I noticed many robins dotted the saturated grass looking for breakfast. I recently learned that robins have an extraordinary sense of hearing and can hear worms, so this is why you often see a robin hopping on the ground and cocking its head. It is listening to hear if any worms are in the soil beneath the ground.
And, what about once that juicy worm is found? I stopped to watch, certainly not because I am a macabre person, but a robin brought a worm onto the path where I was walking, and it was near the tree where the baby robins just fledged. I thought I’d see if she fed the babies – yes, I’m always looking for a photo op.
I believe it was “our” Mama Robin and she was fixing breakfast for her brood.
Why you might have loved the wiggle and jiggle of Jell-O when you were a kid, I guess wiggling worms are not a good idea for robin chicks.
Follow along below as I’ve described what Mama Robin did. First, she had to kill that wiggly worm, which she did by spearing it with her bright-yellow beak, then she clamped down on the near-lifeless worm and proceeded to slice and dice it. Ouch! Soon it was in two pieces, but it still had a little wiggle goin’ on, then finally it was good to go.
Your mom had it easy, she just made you oatmeal, or opened up a box of Froot Loops and breakfast was served.