American Robin with his beak stuffed with worms

Bringing Home the Worms: how many more can he manage? (click to enlarge)

My grandfather was a dedicated gardener who grew most of the family’s vegetables in his tiny backyard in Victoria. One of his pearls of wisdom, passed on to me by my mother, was that “you have to eat a peck of dirt before you die.”

I expect the Robins spending the summer in our garden agree. To gather meals that will satisfy a nest full of hungry youngsters requires a good measure of  careful observation, stealth, speed and skill. Sometimes it means getting virtually underfoot of the gardeners who are busy turning up the soil or trenching a furrow for seeds.

But most of all, it means getting your beak and face very, very dirty. (Click on the images below to see just how dirty they get.)

No wonder we so often see the Robins taking a vigorous afternoon bath in the corner of our pond!

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About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer focused on nature and nautical on the BC coast

2 responses »

  1. Sherry Galey says:

    You reminded me om my grandfather in this post. He was a wonderful skilled and enthusiastic gardener. He had a small victory garden in Montreal and then a larger veggie garden in Perth Ontario, along with beautiful flower borders and indoor plants. I remember learning from him about mulch and compost years and years ago. His vegetables were magnificent. You could taste the love and care he put into them. And yes, I’m not put off my a little dirt when eating garden veggies.;-)

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