Sunday, April 11, 2010

Common species

Been thinking again about the way I take some species for granted.

I mean really, what isn't gorgeous and fascinating about this creature?

In some places, if there were no robins, there would be no bird life at all. You can reliably count on meeting them daily, wherever you go in this part of the world.

Look at that clear eye, the orange breast.
It's that flash of colour that reminded English settlers in North America of their dear little robins from home. This bird is really a thrush, though.

The song of the robin provides the background sound in cities and on farms from first light into the dark of night.

Cool fact. The American robin can stretch its esophagus to store food overnight. Very useful for getting through a cold Canadian winter with a light feather coat.

Common species like robins are often the first wild life children discover. Because they can be observed so conveniently and reliably they also make good species for study. Given the right question, a person of limited mobility could complete a master's or Ph.d from their kitchen window.

Thank you robin, just for being there.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I love the robins in my neighbourhood, although sometimes I wonder that they've managed to survive. For three years in a row, one kept trying to nest on the light fixture next to my front door.
A. It's the only door in and out of the house and
B. The top of the light was flat.
No protection, constant coming and going (okay, so I don't get out all that much, but still…)

Then you tell me they can store food in their throats and I think there's some cleverness in them after all. Thanks for restoring my faith in robins, Heather.