Saturday, December 17, 2011

Communal Bath for Robins

Flocks of robins have been appreciating the backyard minipond the last couple days, arriving in flocks of 20 or so to splash in the shallow water. Their frenzied head-dipping is reminiscent of the movement of the birds on this toy, and wooden birds are much more cooperative in front of a camera.

While half of the flock is in the water, the other half remains perched in the overhanging branches, to keep a keen eye or two out for any approaching photographers. The old apple tree next to the pond, half of its branches dead, serves this function well. The human inclination is to trim trees up and remove all the dead branches, but the birds make it clear they like lots of perches of varied heights--the better to scope out the ground before dropping in.

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