Protect your nest

A mama robin takes on a harsh economy

BY HENRY ABBOTT
"Blues" by Dany_M is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

I’m like the dog now: Unless it’s raining, I want to be in the backyard. I recently spent a whole weekend afternoon on my side, pulling every little weedlet from the gravel. 

The pandemic has taught me that our garden wildlife visits in shifts. Starlings, squirrels, cat birds, robins, and my dog take turns scrutinizing every last inch of the lawn, sometimes coming up with a worm, grub, insect, or other delicacy.

A few weeks ago, a starling spent an entire weekend landing, edging forward, side-eyeing this bit of straw or that bit of twig, and then buzzing up under the eaves of the gazebo. After some unseen dramatic turn—nature is harsh—the bossiest robin I’ve ever known was suddenly nesting in that spot. 

That bossy robin thinks she owns everything now. Squirrels need only sniff around to find themselves at the wrong end of a vicious robin divebomb/tirade. They scatter ... then, once the coast is clear, glance back like, se…

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