But just a day or two after Billy Heron, the patriarch of my back yard gardens and ponds left, Cocky Robin brushed aside the murmured objections from the littler birds, and mounted the Sacred Roof Arch for his own announcement.
All of the little birds decided to play along. They felt bad for Cocky Robin and Myra, who’d set up their nest in the Arbor Vitae tree next to our garden in suburban Portland Oregon. All last summer the robins nested and gorged themselves on our worms, berries and grapes. But just when their eggs hatched, the crows swept through.
I had watched last year as the Robins sat silently by my backyard pond, pretending to ignore the crows. The crows swept east through the robin’s nest, until the hawks massed at the golf course and forced the crows to split into their traditional north and south enclaves, into the second growth hardwoods along Rock Creek.
This year the robins are attempting to nest in the exact same spot. It’s a wide-open arbor vitae in my side yard, next to the street. I see them flying mouthfuls of worms into the top of the tree, sometimes as often as every minute.