Artists and Birds
by Marilyn and Keith Davis

"If You Build It, They Will Come"

American Robin

American Robin       During my growing-up years in St. George, it was really important for me to see the almond blossoms pop out. My friend, Toni, lived on the corner and her early blooming almond trees would always tell us when spring was here.

       There were huge bean pod trees in the front of our house, and each spring my brother, Wes, would climb the trees checking for nests until our mom would make him come down, before he broke his neck.  As an adult, I now realize that Robins are here year-round, if you look for them, and little boys should stay out of trees when birds are nesting.  It was more of a country environment back then and it seemed there was an abundance of birds everywhere.

       I went for an early spring walk today and the noisiest birds in the whole neighborhood were American Robins. Cheep-leep, cheep-leep, cheep-leep, they sang over and over again. I love this time of year. It's time for those noisy Robins to stake out their territories, invite a female into their world, build nests, and raise chicks. A Robin can produce three successful broods in one year; however, only 25 percent of the fledglings survive the summer and fall. Those that do, only half of them will make it to the next year. Ofttimes Robins are around us, but because they spend so much time in the tops of the trees, they aren't seen.

       I miss the place where I grew up. Lots of huge shade trees, fruit trees, nut trees, berry bushes, grape vines and a garden filled with everything good to eat. I didn't realize then how important it is to have lots of food and cover for birds. "If you build it, they will come." Make your place "bird friendly" and see how many more visitors you have.

       Norma Rae Hemsley is our artist this week
.  If you have questions about birds, bird friendly yards, or Red Cliffs Audubon monthly meetings, call 435-673-0996. The public is welcome. More information on our field trips and meetings can be found here.  Past bird articles can be found below.

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