"That little bird has chosen his shelter. Above it are the stars and the deep heaven of worlds.
Yet he is rocking himself to sleep without caring for tomorrow's lodging, calmly
clinging to his little twig, and leaving God to think for him."
- Martin Luther
The American Robins, year-round visitors to my garden and gardens all over North Carolina, were as happy as I was to have warm weather this past weekend. They were out feasting on worms and insects and singing cheerfully in the trees. They were a welcome reminder that I should set aside my worries.
"The robin is at his best when he is singing. In the long choruses at morning and evening, and
frequently for shorter periods during the day, he devotes himself to song, and as he stands
motionless on a high perch, his head thrown back a little, whistling his happy phrases,
his nerves relax, it seems, and a thrushlike calm comes over him: for the time, he seems at peace."
Unfortunately, singing isn't a talent I was blessed with, so I can't join in with the Robins and "devote myself to song". If I did there would be no relaxed nerves around. But watching and listening to the robins and other birds brings a thrushlike calm and peacefulness to me.
"The sound of birds stops the noise in my mind."
- Carly Simon
The Robin has been a cheerful backyard sight in America for hundreds of years.
In the 1600s and 1700s, when English settlers first came to American, they were often homesick and particularly missed their little 'robin redbreast,' a backyard songbird a bit smaller and brighter than our robin. But the rusty breast on our American bird reminded many of them of their own robin, and our birds readily came to backyards, too, so that's how they named our bird. The word 'robin' is a nickname for the human name 'Robert.' (from Journey North's American Robin page)
Do you have a favorite backyard bird?
For more information about the American Robin visit the Cornell Lab of ornithology website: