For weeks the male robins have worked to establish their territories, skirmishing in yards, posturing on sidewalks, singing from the top of every tree and house. And now it’s show time: the ladies are in town. One is shopping on my front lawn, attended by a hopeful and solicitous male who eagerly points out the amenities.
“A gardener lives here,” I can hear him say. “Lots of juicy worms in these well-amended flower beds! She’s always digging, and when it gets hot and dry she waters, making it easy to find them.” The female cocks an ear to the ground then pounces on some tasty morsel. “See all these old-growth trees?” he continues, wheedling, as he cautiously hops a little closer. “That means the soil is undisturbed so there are always cicadas.” She pauses and looks at him — now for the grand finale!
“Here, let me show you the lovely nesting site I picked out,” he says, flying up into a nearby tree. She follows him, which I take to be a good sign. I’m rooting for them both. With any luck, in a month or so there will be fledgling robins sitting on my hammock.