Robins in Winter

The robins run afoot then stop on a dime, sifting.

The robins are out in numbers this winter morning. They run afoot then stop on a dime, sifting through the dried autumn leaves that still remain in search of small insects and worms set to work composting the leaves into humus.

The bluebirds and chickadees have now come to join the robins. I toss black oil sunflower seed and white proso millet to further encourage their inspection of the ground.

A curious bluebird rests on the light gray bark of a nearby oak tree. He stares straight ahead in study of the bamboo bird house attached to the front of my workshop.

“A good home in spring,” he may think, but it’s unlikely he’ll make it his residence in time. The curious bluebird first visited last year. It was shortly after the young of the Carolina chickadees took to flight, leaving behind their place of birth.

The flock of robins swoop upward and then back down, gathering again in my neighbor’s front yard to forage. The robins stand upright with good posture and roam as one.

Photo by Leila Boujnane on Unsplash

By Jeffrey Pillow

Jeffrey Pillow is an American short story writer, memoirist, and poet. He is the author of The Lady Next Door. His writing has been published in Urge Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, 16 Blocks, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, TheBody.com, New York Times, Washington Post, and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He grew up in the small town of Phenix, Virginia, population: 200, and now lives in Charlottesville with his wife, two kids, and a dog named Mozzarella Cheese. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he was a Rainey Scholar. This is his blog.