Confused robin?

bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)January 25, 2010

OK so it's January 25th. It's a balmy 52ºF although the wind is very blustery. This is New England. And at 10:08AM I look out my window to see a robin. Sitting on the ground under the leafless branches of my Euonymus alata. Hopping around a bit, and not sure if the windblown creature was finding bits to eat or looking for nesting material. This is just a little unusual to me. They are supposed to be harbingers of spring. Anyone else seeing robins during winter? Or is the one in my garden just confused?

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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Javaandjazz/Richie posted a thread in December about robins:

Robins Now?

They hang around my neighborhood all winter, but rarely come to my yard.

Claire

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 11:56AM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

Maybe we should consider the worm to be the real harbinger of spring, since that's what brings the robins back to the yards. Worms aren't as glamorous as robins, but I'll take anything that looks like spring right now.

Claire

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 11:59AM
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lschibley

I see Robins in my garden regularly all winter. A flock came through last week and stripped my winterberries and hollies. That's pretty typical for southern new england this time of year. Enjoy them!

Lisa

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 1:41PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

I always enjoy them, and from the responses here some of my fellow New Englanders do too!
Great!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 2:20PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Robins are "partially migratory" which means that only certain populations will migrate as necessary to find sufficient food. They forage for much of their food on the ground, so they tend to migrate to areas where there is little or no snow cover.

According to ornithologist Peter Alden, who started the Christmas Bird count in my area, Robins were rarely reported 50 years ago for the count. He wrote "4 in 1960 and 13 in 1961 were real highlights then as there were less than 50 robins noted on all the inland Mass CBC's in 1961. Today we often record thousands overwintering, while Cape Cod counts record up to 100,000!. They are NOT here in winter due to climate change, but to feast upon (and spread) a variety of new invasive fruiting bushes and vines and fruit-laden horticultural trees."

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 7:26PM
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diggerdee zone 6 CT

Just yesterday I read in Smithsonian Magazine that scientists have discovered that birds in Europe are not migrating to Spain as usual because of birdfeeders, and that these birds are actually already showing signs of evolution. It was an interesting little blurb.

:)
Dee

Here is a link that might be useful: birdfeeder evolution

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 1:05PM
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bill_ri_z6b(Zone 6B)

Dee,

I think it's interesting but it seems that the birds are remembering where to get food, as all birds and most other animals do. And maybe because of the smaller population that stays behind in England, there is more inbreeding, which of course could easily account for the physical changes that were discovered.

Now if only evolution were retroactive then I could do something about lower back pain! LOL!

Bill

    Bookmark   January 27, 2010 at 3:12PM
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NHBabs(4b-5aNH)

We even had some robins up here this week, which isn't common up here since it's colder and the ground is frozen or covered with snow along with fewer planted yards/more forests and farms so fewer fruiting plants. We usually get our first robins returning in my area in March.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2010 at 7:10PM
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