A couple of years ago, robins nested in our backyard tree resulting in a few chicks. One day, the chicks flew away. All except one. He fell and couldnāt fly.
The next morning, looking out the window to our patio, there he was, on the window ledge. I went out and he tried to get away, but just fluttered down to the ground. I reached down and he hopped onto my finger. I put him back on the ledge as I thought heād be safer there.
Couple days later, in the evening, I was out on the patio with a glass of single malt with one ice cube. I like the tinkle sound you get with one cube and was enjoying it as I walked around the expanse of our backyard. Then I noticed that every time I tinkled the glass, our neighbourhood cardinal would stop his loud, authoritative song. I started doing this on purpose to try to gauge his reaction, and sure enough, he reacted every time. He was very curious of the whisky, or maybe just the tinkle.
Of course, heās not the only one. When I hear the tinkle of ice in scotch, I immediately light up and my mouth starts watering in a Pavlovian manner. But our local red-winged blackbird wasnāt interested. He couldnāt give a shit about my glass. He was too busy chasing all the other birds with his shrill screeching whistle, almost a bansheeās scream. RWBās are very protective, territorial and aggressive.
Then I saw my little robin chick friend sitting on the back fence. As I approached, suddenly I heard a deep, hungry growl. It was getting dark, so I was apprehensive about this sound, but was really worried about the little guy.
Then, as I got closer, I could see a yellow, demonish eye through a crack in the fence.
A coyote. Tongue hanging out, thinking about an easy dinner tonight. Iām not particularly afraid of coyotes, but also donāt want to get too close, especially a hungry one. So, not wanting to open the gate and scare him away, I started making noise. But that didnāt work.
Then I noticed my little buddy shivering and looking at me, as if to say, āPlease help meā. At the same time, the coyote was winding up on his haunches, getting ready to leap. Then, just as he leapt, the little robin chick flew away to safety. And I swear he winked at me just before he left.
Fast forward to present day, thereās been a full grown male robin hanging around our backyard. He seems very friendly, but of course, not too close. The other day he winked at me, so now I know that heās my friend.
By the way, his name is āRobbieā.
How do I know?
He told me.
[These photos are random shots from my 365 photo-a-day project … Click on any photo for the slideshow. Please leave comments at the bottom of the page]