Monday, February 28, 2011

Little Robin Red Breast

"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:


One said...

I have enjoyed your post. Beautiful photos of the robin. I have many birds here but nothing colorful.

I like this quote : "The sound of birds stops the noise in my mind."
- Carly Simon

As long as we stop the noise; be it through listening to a bird or by focusing on something else like watching our footsteps, we would be more at peace. This is the message I was trying to write in my post today. But the message may have not gotten across. :)

Southern Lady said...

Thanks for the beautiful pictures and great information on Robins. I have learned a lot from this post. Carla

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Beautiful photos Ginny. I grew up in England, and really do miss the more diminutive robin species, but I enjoy seeing these in the garden too. However, the last two years we don't seem to have as many robins around. I'm not sure why. Although I'm sure once our young crabapple trees begin to produce fruit, they'll be back ;)

Alistair said...

Ginny, when I was a youngster back in the 50s comic books and occasional American visitors would always tell us kids how everything in the USA was bigger and better. Looking at your lovely picture today set me back, thinking, even their blooming Robins are bigger. I loved the story of how the early settlers came to name the American Robin. I really enjoy all the birds which visit us here but I have a particular soft spot for the wren.

Cat said...

So lucky that you can get so close to the robin to get such good shots. I have one robin that visits each day at the back of the yard...never gets too close. I think my favorite birds right now are the gold finches...they cluster in the persimmon tree and light in the fountain to play and drink...I am entranced watching them!

Beth at PlantPostings said...

Love the robins! When they come here, it's springtime! I'm also crazy about Cardinals, Chickadees, and Cedar Waxwings. We don't see the latter much around here, but sometimes when the apple blossoms are just at the right point, they make an appearance. Amazing birds!

bacon seed said...

Beautiful post Ginny. I too love the Robin and it's sweet songs. My favorite backyard bird has to be the chickadees though. I see them bouncing all over my deck. They are so stinking cute :)

Rebecca said...

Wonderful post, photos and information.. I don't think I have a favorite. At this moment I would have to choose the bluebirds that have visited my feeders for the first time this winter.

Chris said...

Robins are always a welcome sign of spring here in Pennsylvania! I haven't seen any here yet, but am happy for the sneak preview you gave me!

HolleyGarden said...

Great shots! I didn't realize they were different than the English robins! I especially love your fairly lady on your header. Very cute! And I see you have a Professor Charles Sargent camellia blooming, too. Starting today, I am a follower!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ginny the american robin is quite different than our english robin but they both seem to share the same love of singing, ours sings all the way through winter and such a varied melancholic song it can be too...

Marguerite said...

Isn't it so nice to see the birds coming around again and digging about in our yards. A sure sign of spring!