Robins Are Back

I see the robins are back. One of the activities that I’m gradually picking up again is bird watching. I’m still getting used to the new DSLR camera I bought last summer. I’m not a fanatic about it nor an expert photographer by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s fun.

One of my earlies encounters with birds was when I was a newspaper delivery boy. That was also when I had to get up very early in the morning to get my papers at the drop-off corner. I used an alarm clock with a transparent face which revealed the inner works, all in different colors. I’m still an early riser.

Swallow nestling waiting for lunch

Anyway, I had to cross a railroad yard to get to the corner and each and every morning birds would swoop at my head. I had to swing my paper bag at them, just to get across several sets of tracks. They might have been swallows nesting nearby although I’m just guessing.

Swallow feeding nestling

I never understood why birds would hang around busy, noisy railroad tracks. I just did a web search today and it turns out that railroad tracks don’t necessarily deter birds from hanging out there. The intermittent noise of trains may be less of a deterrent than constantly busy highways.

Last spring, I got a video of Mourning Doves billing and cooing.

They hung around our property and actually tried to build a nest in our front window box. They are not very careful nest builders. We had very pointy, sharp, plastic artificial plants in the window box and it looked painful for them to pick their way around them.

I’m looking forward to bird-watching again this spring.

A robin singing
Wiącek, J., Polak, M., Filipiuk, M. et al. Do Birds Avoid Railroads as Has Been Found for Roads? Environmental Management (2015) 56: 643.
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