Last week I noticed a robin’s nest in a dogwood tree in our backyard. It’s only about seven feet off the ground and two robins vigilantly keep guard. The last few days we’ve had a series of nasty storms roll through in the blistering heat of the afternoon. One even toppled the dogwood next to the one with the nest. But still, the robins sat guard. And it made me think about birds. And how tough they are.
Sure, they might have hollow bones, and no fat, but one look at the pictures from the Gulf of Mexico debacle and we’re reminded of how these animals live in the elements like no other animals on the planet.
Last summer during a rain shower I was passing by a massive bay laurel tree and happened to look up. In the tree were hundreds of black figures. Robins. Silent. Just sitting there on branches under the cover of leaves. If you can call that cover.
Most every other animal (that I can think of) utilizes some form of shelter from nature. But birds just sit there and take it. Hurricanes, blizzards, lightning, hail, drought, oil, pollution – it doesn’t matter. Sure, they can fly to avert other dangers (like fire), they may or may not migrate, and, yes, there are certain types of birds that find/utilize shelter. But you show me another animal that has to fight to survive in nature the way birds do.
Throw in some random crude, and it’s a wonder they’ve tolerated us this long. It makes me wonder if they sometimes secretly wish they were still dinosaurs for a little payback.
As I write this, I hear a hawk outside. Crying. Waiting. Watching the nest to pick the perfect moment to swoop in for the kill.