|The Robin, by Norma Boeckler|
I was constantly moving around in the front yard, hating to disturb them. They scurried away each time, not afraid but cautious in getting out of the way.
They know an earthworm supermarket when they see one. The rosebed has remained untouched for several years, heavily mulched, and watered when necessary. I scattered three shipments of red wigglers over the rose gardens to make sure the plants had the best soil available: tunneled, mixed, manured, and aerated.
When I added logs as a rustic fence, the robins gained a good place to look for their meals without touching the ground. Earthworms respond to noise or vibration, so a perch is valuable for birds pouncing on prey. Birds also use logs as safe places to preen their feathers.
The tenacity of the robins is impressive. Once I caught one with a beak full of leaves for the nest. He was not giving up that prize as he dodged my apparent path.
The funniest was the robin who hid behind a rose bush when I came outside to inspect the flowers. He peeked at my from behind the bush, looking like a child playing hide and seek.
I will be setting up flat pans to gather water for drinking and bathing in the front yard. The mainstay is the pan holding the air conditioner's condensate. Flat clay pans for under flower pots are good for placing under soaker hoses to capture water and remain fairly clean.
The best bird food is NO POISONS. Every poison knocks down all the creatures, often making it especially safe for the pests to return. A toxin-free yard allows all the creatures to reach their maximum density and feed each other.