Okay, they're serviceberries...

...but try telling that robin they're not his!


We've been accosted by a chipmunk when we reached for "his" serviceberries, and watched robins so berry-intoxicated* they would fall off the branch after each grab at a fruit.

Last year Steven took a lunch break from planting and ate his sandwich with one hand while using the other to focus his camera on a robin in a serviceberry. For years Janet's contended that robins test berries for ripeness by putting their beaks around the fruit before plucking. Steven's hour of close observation proved Janet was partly right.

"The young birds do walk along a branch testing fruit, then plucking one. But the older birds, they land, look around, and go straight for a ripe fruit. They know by color which they want."


RobinShops3828s.jpg  RobinGrabs3829s.jpg



*(What's Coming Up Issue 95 tells other drunken-bird stories and What's Coming Up 11 has a marvelous tale of a tipsy marmot; we'd link you directly to them but they're not on the site yet. Still in queue. #11 is available on our CD Asking About Asters and #95 is  available on our CD, Potting Up Perennials . We have many others in line in front of those that are not available anywhere else. Please support us by buying a CD or Sponsor these stories to help us post more of our work; we'll be glad to move them up in line if we can also move the whole effort forward.)