The Overlooked Robin

It’s easy to overlook what’s always around. Take the robin, for example. The American robin is ubiquitous. Once a welcome sign heralding spring’s arrival, now we see it year round in coastal Maine. We seldom focus on it as we seek a fleeting glance of more exotic birds–orioles, tanagers, warblers, etc. But take a look — notice that rich, ruddy breast, the white lined eyes, the streaked throat. Listen to its song! Robins truly are beautiful birds!

Yesterday morning, as I wandered by the riverside park, I saw a robin hopping along the ground. I lingered and watched for a while. (One of the joys of summer is having time to linger and time to notice.) Every so often it stopped and cocked its head toward the ground. It seemed to be listening! Each time it would turn its head, pause, then straighten up, peck at the ground or move along. It was fascinating!

A dim memory stirred. Did I remember reading that robins can actually hear the earthworms stirring underground? Later, a quick google search confirmed it. Robins use sight and hearing to find worms and can actually find worms solely by listening when needed. I also read that robins can eat up to 14 feet of earthworms in a day! Yikes! Now all I can think about is slurping spaghetti.