Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Robins?














My son called me to the window this morning as the first flakes of "snowmaggedon" danced through the sky.  He said, "Dad, the tree is full of robins."

I'm pretty good at basic birds, and sure enough, the tree was filled with fifteen grey, redbreasted birds with feathers puffing them into wispy balls against the chill wind.

But are they robins?  When I enlarged the photos they didn't seem to have the shape of robins.  But I'm not familiar with another variety with such a distinctive red breast.

Help from any birders will be appreciated to understand if these are spring birds with their internal clocks awry, or another bird altogether.

6 comments:

MTowner said...

Certainly looks like a robin. Not all robins migrate. They often move to forested areas that edge on fields, so we don't see them in our yards in the winter. There are also robins that migrate here from northern areas, where winters are more harsh. I have seen a lot of small flocks of robins in the last month or so as I drive around Middletown. Looking for a harbinger of Spring? Watch for arriving Red-Wing Blackbirds, especially near ponds. When you see/hear them, that is a sign that spring is arriving, more reliably so than robins.

Anonymous said...

When I was a child, long, long ago in Middletown's winter, the first robin sighting in the Spring was big family news. Nowadays, like MT owner, I see flocks of robins, even during the middle of winter. But, so far, I have not spotted any winter worms, moths, etc. How can the robins get enough to eat? My modest bird feeders have only seeds, suet and a modicum of fruit...

Anonymous said...

We get a flock of robins every year that wipe out the berries in our large American Holly Tree around the second week of January, without fail. It takes them about 3 days to strip every single red berry off of that huge tree. It is a frenzy of red berries and birds; quite a site to see! They seem to be able to tolerate Connecticut's January freezing temps without a problem and I don't think they migrate; if they do not very far. But you can time their arrival to the week and I know that as long as we have berries we will have robins in winter in Middletown.

JAM said...

I had robins this afternoon - they were drinking from the pond in my backyard. I also saw robins about a month ago, and I thought they were nuts. They did look cute, though, all puffed up against the cold!

manarolla said...

Though some robins migrate out of the area for the winter, there's usually a resident population that will remain. During the winter they often flock together for both protection from predators and also to forage more successfully for food. The reason the birds near your house looked 'different' was becuase they're puffed out like tennis balls to better retain heat. Once the snow starts to melt and the ground reappears, keep an eye out for them foraging around on the ground.

Anonymous said...

I cant believe it...I stopped counting at 68 robins in the trees in my backyard? Wow why so many and why this time of year? I am in Roanoke, In