Bobbing Along

This isn’t a part of the country I expect to see robins (American ones, which I just read are closely related to European blackbirds). But I got to enjoy listening to and observing a mother and fledgling today on a break at work.

Mom is at right looking for more worms.

I watched the mother, who was as big as her child, poke in the ground cover and find at least three worms, which she unceremoniously stuck down the fledgling’s gullet. It would then begin begging anew.

Please, Mom, I’d like some more.

Those weren’t the only sounds I heard, though. There were Carolina wrens bopping all over the trees and bushes, too. I love to listen to them. Sorry for the poor photo quality. It was dark and the birds weren’t exactly posing for me.

There was also a much smaller, more gray bird with a beautiful song. It appeared to be wren-like, but it could also have been one of those tiny vireos. It would not hold still but was singing mightily.

I just thought y’all might enjoy some nature on this here nature blog!

Who’s Singing?

courtyard
The path on the courtyard at work. You can see a redbud tree and live oaks.

Last week I showed you the urban hawk nest near my Austin workplace (they are doing well, by the way). Today I went to sit in the courtyard behind our building, just to get some air, so I’ll tell you about the birds there.

The lansdcaping team did a great job on this spot. They planted many great native plants, including turk’s cap and other plants the hummingbirds love, plus a variety of textured and colored plants. It’s a pleasure to walk through or have a nice lunch there under the escarpment live oaks and cedar elms. And of course, the plants attract all kinds of birds.

wren
This is as close as I could get with the darned phone camera.

The highlights of today were a large group of wrens, Carolina wrens, I believe. Every time I see one I think, “Wow, wrens are small!” They are also just about the cutest birds to watch, with their bobbing tails, chirps, angry wren sounds, and nice songs, when they are happy. They aren’t very shy, either, so you can easily watch them in trees, on the ground or in nests built in odd spots (like our old gas grill).

While I was watching the wrens and listening to them chirp and peep, a glorious song rang out. I was entranced. It was just beautiful, and there were two different songs, obviously from the same bird. “What is it?” I wondered. “I hope I can see this magnificent creature!”

I could tell it moved to the other side of me, so I peered into the tree. Then I laughed. The magnificent creature was a male American robin. This is a bird I listened to all the time when I lived in Illinois. Here in Texas, I don’t see them very often (Merlin Bird ID lists them as uncommon both here in Austin and at the Hermits’ Rest), so I guess I forgot what they sounded like.

robin
Yep, it’s blurry, but you can tell it’s a robin! In a white oak, I think.

What a wonderful memory to resurrect!