Open Edition 10″ x 13″ – $40.00
The robin is one of the best known songbirds in North America. It travels into Canada and the far north in summer, but migrates south in winter. Early sightings in Canada are welcomed as a sign of spring and warmer weather ahead.
The robin’s plumage is distinctive. Both males and females have a brownish-gray back, white throat, blackish head with a broken white eye ring, yellow beak, black tail, and a red-orange breast. Males have a darker head and tail and a deeper orange breast than females. The lower belly of females is white.
Their chief food is earthworms, but robins also eat berries and insects. Although it may appear that robins listen, with head cocked, to the ground for worms, they actually see them. Sometimes an earthworm will cling to the wall of its burrow by bristles or setae. When a robin pulls on an earthworm, which is partially out of its burrow, the longitudinal muscles in the body wall contract and a tug of war occurs, each pulling in opposite directions. Earthworms are much easier to gather when they are completely out of their burrow as often happens after a rain or when the soil has been freshly tilled.
In the composition, “Garden Raiders,” a male and female are feeding. The male is struggling with a worm, and the female is eating a strawberry. They are harvesting food for a hungry family of fledglings eagerly awaiting their return. Harvesting implies ownership, yet these robins take and behave badly when the gardeners pick the strawberries. They flit from fence post to garden and back again scolding the pickers. How dare we steal their strawberries! In return, the gardeners, prepared to share, are disappointed with the robins that peck so many berries without finishing one! In addition, worms feeding on soil compost loosen and enrich the soil; therefore, they are important for soil fertility. The robins not only rob the berries, but rob the soil as well. Since the gardeners own, plant, and fertilize the soil, they believe the robins are trespassing as well as raiding the garden. However, as there are plenty of berries to be shared, and our summer friends are loved, our garden raiders are cherished even if they are bad-mannered!