Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Robin Redbreast in Winter

The fireside for the cricket,
The wheat-stack for the mouse,
When trembling night-winds whistle
And moan all round the house.
The frosty ways like iron,
The branches plumed with snow,
—Alas! in winter dead and dark,
Where can poor Robin go?
Robin, Robin Redbreast,
O Robin dear!
And a crumb of bread for Robin,
His little heart to cheer.

From the poem, Robin Redbreast
By William Allingham

I saw a Robin the other day. He seemed so out of place in the snow flurries, and I was suddenly worried about him! I wanted to offer him some warmth and silently tried to will him to take advantage of the bird house hanging on the nearby tree, currently unoccupied. I'm sure he has his own nest somewhere, but I don't recalling seeing a Robin in such cold temperatures before! I'm ashamed to say I have no idea their migratory habits...I just always looked for them in the Spring and was excited when I saw the first one of the season. Perhaps someone can enlighten me. I've only lived in south central Tennessee for three years, so it may be that Robins hang around in this area in the colder months. Anyway, he didn't seem to mind the cold as much as I did!
I've always loved to keep bird feeders in our yard, but since I've moved here, we've adopted two indoor-outdoor cats who would love nothing more than to catch a bird or two. I can't be an accomplice to that kind of crime. It breaks my heart! Instead, I try to tell the birds to fly away to the highest branches, far out of reach of Isabella and Hermione. Isabella is becoming a little lazier in her middle ages, so perhaps she will decide it's too much trouble to catch birds!
My mother-in-law purchased us a house for Purple Martins, and I can't wait to put it up! Since they are seldom on the ground, I'm fairly confident they'll be safe from our resident bird patrol.
Have a wonderful day!


Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

I don't know the migratory history of robins either but I live in Michigan where today we're experiencing one degree weather and have had some minus days recently. Yet, on Sunday, I saw a small flock of 4 or 5 robins standing on the snowy side of the road. I was quite astonished.

Holly said...

Here in the UK robins are traditional symbols of snow and Christmas and a common theme on Christmas cards, but they look rather different to your robins, but I guess they would have similar habits so I'm sure he'll be fine :)

Holly xoxo

Carolyn said...

Hi Paula,
I love the photo of the little robin.Here on P.E.I. we don't usually see robins until late March but a few milder winters they were around all winter.
I think your pine floors will be beautiful.We stipped down floofs in our daughters older homes and they looked beautiful when done.
Thank you for visiting me and leaving lovely comments.
Take care,

The Rustic Victorian said...

Hi Paula,
I just met Celia (Down A Rabbit Hole) on line. Like Celia,I am also from Huntsville, I am sort of new here,,, I am from Oregon. I have been enjoying your blog. I like the format you are using, very creative. Your home is a dream. I understand the Robins go to Florida for the winter,I am not so sure, but they did leave for a while, they seem to have come back early. I love their song. Have a wonderful weekend. Stop for a visit, I am a newish blogger.

Janet said...

We saw a robin the other day too. Very odd. We keep our goldfinches and chickadees all winter. The juncos came back with the snow, as well as a pair of cardinals (we usually have 2-4 pairs every summer). Our sunflower seed budget has been exceeded for the month. :)
I don't know if a robin will use a house.