Thursday, January 14, 2016
No one knows why birds flock, not even Smithsonian magazine. The scientists simply haven't figured it out yet, although they think it's done for the group's safety while traveling, the same reason fish swim in schools. Coming up the driveway from yesterday's walk, I beheld in the crown of one of the twin oaks a mass of robins, all perched and cheeping to beat the band. Yes, robins flock; look at the photo closely and you can see a red breast or two. I stood there and watched and listened and photographed until finally they got up en masse and flew away toward the northwest. Perhaps they think our bizarre sunny 60-degree weather is springtime, and they're headed home, where they don't flock but break up into individuals and families. I don't see a lot of robins on this property except during migrations; there's not enough shorn green grass for them to hunt in. Robins are more common in the city, where they nest in windowsills and outdoor light fixtures, and lay blue eggs, each a masterpiece.