Saturday, March 13, 2010

Migration, suicide or driven out by heavy rains - Earthworm mysteries

YES! This post is about Earthworms.  I know you are interested ... aren't you?

It's almost spring in Kentucky.  Temperatures are moderating, precipitation falls in the form of rain and not snow and our earthworms are committing suicide.  Well! That's how it appears to me anyhow.

I'm mystified as to the reasons worms do what they do at various times throughout the year.  I'm also baffled as to why birds that normally devour every worm they can find, especially Robins, DO NOT seem to like worms that are found crawling around on concrete.  Now that's really weird to me. Is it because they are too hard to pick up off the concrete.  I know they are because I've tried it a few times myself. Of course, I don't have a sharp beak to use for the job and all that slime those worms have coating them when they are crawling around doesn't help anything either.

I've also considered that it may be that birds other than Woodpecker types do not have a built-in shock absorber mechanism that allows them to pound their head against something hard repeatedly and those type, such as the Robin, could quickly develop a pounding headache which might cause them to forget they are hungry. Like I said ... it's weird. I've observed how Robins go at it as they thrust down into grass and soil to grasp a worm that's trying to escape.

One other thing I've suspected at various times during the year, especially the Spring time, after I've applied "weed and feed" to my yard, that the weed killing aspect of weed and feed could prove to be an irritant or poison to earthworms and their reaction to that is to crawl out onto any concrete nearby where the concentration of harmful chemicals is not as great and where they stand a better chance of survival.

I've often feared that with that many worms lying dead and dried up everywhere one looks, sooner or later we are going to run out of worms and then what would our yards and gardens do?  But ... next year ... there they are again, in abundance.

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