Sunday, January 19, 2014

Robins in Winter and Some Other Random Winter Bird Life

This morning at the nature preserve I was greeted with a flock of over 100 American Robins. They were for the most part working their way through a grove of European Buckthorn Trees and stripping branches of their dark berries. People always seem to be surprised by the fact that Robins will spend the winter this far north, but it's no new phenomenon. A look back at our own region's Christmas Bird Count records reveals that at least a few Robins were found on virtually ever count going back for its entire 40 year history. "But aren't Robins supposed to be eating earth worms? How could they obtain them when the ground is frozen?" These are perennial questions. Robins switch to eating primarily fruit in the winter. If their is a mid-winter thaw, they may just try their luck hunting for worms again, but they are well suited to continue an all fruit diet for an extended period of time.
Robins and starlings are often seen feeding on berries together 

Over 250 American Crows crowded the preserve's feeding stations
White-throated Sparrows are fairy numerous this winter
This Red-breasted Nuthatch is seen everyday at one feeder area in the pines
Pitch Pines in one of the reforestation fields
Female Northern Cardinal
Unlike last winter, this winter the tiny Golden-crowned Kinglets are common
Song Sparrows are being seen at feeders and at the beaver pond area
On average one predatory Sharp-shinned Hawk is seen each day

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