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Saturday essay: Waltz of the robins

Molly, Marvin and Melissa, as they’ve been dubbed, are a week old today. And they have been a noisy robin trio.

They made their way into the world Saturday last, breaking through their pastel blue eggshells on a rainy day in the nest of their parents, Marvin Sr. and Maria. But they stayed pretty dry, given how the nest was built under the back deck.

Mom spent the better part of two weeks building their abode. And she had plenty of material — straw used to keep the mud at bay around the garden, bits of old hanging basket liners inadvertently run over by the lawn mower and even pieces of an old wicker basket long past its useful life.

The cacophonist chirp-chirping began at mid-morning. Little heads, tilted back with mouths open wide, poked out of the nest. And the feeding waltz soon began.

Marvin Sr. and Maria took turns delivering a smorgasbord of goodies to the three. As Mom pecked for a worm in the garden, Dad would serve as a watch-out from atop a fence around one of the raised beds. And as Dad went for a grub, Mom kept a wary eye from the tip of the handle of the wheelbarrow.

Had the scene been recorded on video and set to the audio of “The Blue Danube” waltz, sight and sound would have been in perfect sync.

By this time next week, Molly, Marvin and Melissa will be ready to leave their nest. And through June they’ll tag along with Mom and Dad. Then off they’ll be, on their own, their now better-defined thrush songs joining nature’s symphony.

— Colin McNickle


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