Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I am willing to adapt.....Are you?

If you live in New England you will likely recall seeing very few Robins during the winter. I think the myth is that Robins leave the cold Northern regions and fly South to a warmer climate. I, too, thought that until I started reading about birds. Who knew? The truth is that most robins remain close to their breeding grounds throughout the winter and don't actually fly South. It reminded me of a recent trip to Home Depot because the store was so empty I thought all the contractors up and left for Florida. You might wonder what the robins are feeding on this time of year. The last time I looked out the window I didn't see any worms. A month ago I spotted what looked like an orange bird down back behind the barn. I grabbed my Nikon with the zoom lens and scurried down to the barn to get a closer look and they had gone. After about 20 minutes perched up in the loft with the door slightly ajar, they finally came back. But much to my surprise there wasn't just one or two, there were about 10 robins of all ages, both male and female. It's quite easy to tell the difference between the juveniles and the adults by the color of their feathers. Since the worms were frozen or 5 feet down in the ground they made do with a berry-covered tree. wasn't their preferred diet but it got them through the lean times until the ground thawed out and the worms came to the surface. I was quite shocked to see so many together at once since in the summer you rarely see more than one pair together at a time, probably for mating purposes. The fact that they were huddled together and flying around the neighborhood eating their 2nd choice (berries) shows how adaptable these birds are.

I was just reading today's National Geographic and there was a story about Darwin's theory of evolution and how the strong and most adaptable animals survive. It is so true with us human beings as well. With the current economic situation bearing down on us, there are many similarities between General Contractors and the flock of robins. For example, my company is taking on smaller and less profitable jobs these days because they are like the berries. Maybe they are not our first choice but they'll get us through the lean times until the worms come back. I am optimistic that the remodeling outlook is bright and that shortly the demand for good remodeling contractors will be quite high, especially for necessary projects like painting, roofing, rot repairs, energy upgrades, kitchens and baths. Inevitably there are going to be some remodeling companies that insist on living on worms only and cannot adapt to eating berries. Fortunately the boys at Meadowview have been snacking on berries for years now so we don't so much mind the taste.

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