The Worm Super-Highway

For the past few days, I've been working diligently to re-structure sections in my project on field guides. For the past few days, the robins out back have been working diligently to deliver worms to the nest. Worms, worms, and for a break from the usual: more worms. I read through a few of the articles in my "backlog file;" the robins switch to beetles.

All day long, every day since the squablings crawled out of their eggs, worm importation on a large scale has been what the robins have been up to. They've set up a sort of worm super-highway, in fact, flying in the wriggly beasts one after another—but only to momentarily appease the hungry squabs.

In the first couple of days after The Hatch, I noticed that if I was too close to the nest, the robins would churrr at me from the fence, or the top of the garage, or a nearby telephone wire. If I gave them a bit more space, the churrring would stop and the worm importation scheme would recommence.

I have a friend who recently had a baby. About a week into the whole nursing thing, she proclaimed "He's sucking me dry!" We all laughed and said baby reattached himself to her breast. This robin duo looks similarly frazed. I wonder to myself, watching the robins fly to and away from the nest all day long: where do they manage to get all those bugs? I mean, is there an open-pit worm mine I'm unaware of somewhere in the neighborhood?

This has been metaspencer's early-morning installment of Champaign-Urbana Natural History. Now back to writing the new introduction about, in part, natural history. Which figures.


  1. That first picture breaks my heart-- get those babies some worms!

  2. I'm so glad you said that! When I watch the little buggers sitting there with their mouths open -- and they sit there desperately in that way a lot -- I get so ... sad.

    I say: bring on the worms!