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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day of Robins

Like many of us I used to think that robins went South for the winter. Now I know that they don't really migrate. They head into the woods to spend most of the winter.  It is there that their diet turns from worms to berries and seeds, quietly waiting out the winter.
This week we had a warm day that brought the robins  out of the woods to harvest many a neighborhood's bounty of berry-filled bushes.
Robins are native to North America, but most earthworms are not. they were brought by the earliest Europeans to cultivate their gardens and soon escaped to cultivate the continent. (more about that later.)
So robins didn't always eat worms - hard to believe for the many of us who have seen flocks of robins tilting their heads in search of worms that, once found, are quickly snatched up for a meal.
Since they didn't always eat worms, they must eat other stuff, allowing them to survive when it is either too dry or too cold for worms.  
A flock descended on Williamstown WV to cavort among leftover Christmas lights.
They flitted and flew from branch to branch of whatever berry bearing bush they could find . . .
. . . gobbling juicy morsels while showing off their rusty red breasts.
Now the robins may only be seen on this page for now, outside my window, flurries blow in every direction turning the world white once more, turning my afternoon of robins into a warm, colorful memory.   
But soon . . .very soon. 


Stephanie Berry said...

We see robins up here in Maine sometimes thru the winter. I never know how they survive. We had a flicker on our suet the other day--very early for him. And I swear I saw a wren feeding with the goldfinches and titmice. It is a very cold and snowy winter this year too. Nice photos that you got!

Beyond My Garden said...

I think things are changing. We have errant wrens but consider ourselves on the northern most edge of their winter range. I heard the robins singing back in January and there have been a few flickers here since January. Maybe the South is so cold this year, the birds figure, why bother flying down there. I saw a blog that showed a hummingbird that died of hypothermia. I think it was in New Mexico. I'll check it and try to put the link here.

Beyond My Garden said...

Okay, I found the link and it only took me 25 minutes.
It is in Tucson, Arizona

me ann my camera said...

Very interesting! This was a fascinating, informative post. Great pictures!I think it will be quite a while before we see Robins around here soon. Thanks for the posting and your comment on mine.

Arija said...

Your robin shots just take my breath away!