About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Robins' strange migration

My father in-law said Robins leave our area (iron Mountain) during the upcoming month or so and head to Canada for a week or two....This sounds a little strange, but have you heard of such a trip? - Say Ya to Da UP

After nesting is completed in late summer and up until the breeding season begins next spring, robins form flocks that roost together at night and feed together by day. Robins are nomadic, and wander irregularly. The same individual robin may winter one year in Florida and remain in mid-Michigan the following year. American Robin flocks can move around to different nut or fruit trees as they ripen and avoid bad weather when it blows through.

In the early spring, robins usually return to the same neighborhood. When their brood of baby robins fledge, both parents take care of them for a couple weeks. They are taught how to forage and take shelter at night in shrubby areas. Other robins also lead their babies to safe shrubby roosting sights.

Map produced with digital range map files provided by the Canadian Wildlife Service.
If the adult female has time for a second clutch, the older babies are left on their own, to hang out with other fledglings. They learn that being in flocks, is normal. Robins ARE territorial on their summer breeding territories, but not at their roosts, or in feeding trees. Flocking is a behavior that gives the birds more eyes and ears to search for food sources and be watchful for predators.

Young robins tend to follow adults in big migratory flocks in late summer. If there is some wonderful food source in Canada they might have learned to flock up to feed. But it is more likely that the Canadian American Robins are gathering to move south and your Iron Mountain robins also leave yards to gather in their own nomadic flocks.

Related Articles:
- Why Robins are Attracted to Water http://bit.ly/qP9aTs
- Bird of the Week: American Robin http://bit.ly/pnUKqk
- Fun Facts About The American Robin http://bit.ly/n9CSni
- Why robins are called Robin Redbreast and not orange breast http://goo.gl/OB4iT