The Early Bird and the Worm
The other day, I made an early morning visit to West Beach in Deception Pass State Park. There is a short trail from the parking lot that heads over to the amphitheater and the beach on Deception Pass. I wanted to see how the bridge looked. On the trail, I ran into this fellow, an American Robin (Turdus migratorius). I was surprised that he allowed me to get as close as I was without flying off. He wasn't even paying attention to me. Sometimes park critters become accustomed to having people around.
Then I noticed why he was standing his ground. He was working on an earthworm for his breakfast. They are one of the annelids or segmented worms. From my observations, they are a favorite food of Robins. When I am planting or digging in the garden, the birds will gather in a perimeter around me. As soon as I leave, they will fly in to snatch the goodies I kicked out of the soil. They have learned to observe and exploit my behavior.
Apparently, this Robin is part house cat. Instead of just gobbling down the worm, he decided to play with it first. He tossed it into the air and let it drop several times. I had never seen this before. I have no idea what he was up to.
Finally, downs the hatch it went. In the early morning, this Robin got his worm.