Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Is seeing a Robin in January a sign of an early Spring? Is the Robin confused?

A friend of mine recently told me about an American Robin that she saw this week in JANUARY! Does this signal an early Spring? Is the bird confused? Will it be ok?
Well, not all Robins migrate! Surprisingly, getting cold is not the main reason birds migrate, but lack of food. Birds go to where the food is. Migration takes an extreme amount of energy to do, and if they don't have to, they won't. Most Robins will migrate, but some will stay put. I tend to notice more males stay, than females. One of the advantages for the males to stay here, is that they can stake out and claim their territory well before the females return.
So, what do they eat in the winter? Don't they eat worms? Robins do eat worms and other insects in warmer seasons, but will also eat nuts, and fruits. Some Winter days, my ornamental pear will have a small flock of Robins in it eating the little pear berries. I was also just informed that they love raisins!
So, does this mean Robins can't be a sign of Spring? A Robin sighting...not so much. A Robin singing...much better sign! As mating season approaches, a little switch in their brain turns on the singing. These songs are longer than the little chirping sounds we might hear now. For me, a Robin singing is a sign that Spring is just around the corner!
A special 'Thank you!' to my friend, Therese for providing me with this pic of one of her winter Robin visitors.
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