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.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Photo Share: Winter robin flocks

I don't know if these are clear enough to post to your Friday blog but they were fun to watch.  For the last couple of days large flocks of Robins have been filling up the crab apple trees behind the Plant Biology building at MSU.  There are at least a couple hundred birds that keep flying in and out of the trees and beneath to feast on the crab apples all day long. Any time I got close enough to take a picture they would scatter so I couldn't get all of them in one shot.

Common throughout the U.S., even in the winter, the American Robin is best known as a harbinger of Spring. After nesting season is over in the fall, robins gather in huge family flock to roost in the woods. Their diet switches over from bugs mainly to a more fruit, nut and berry diet.

They can fly miles to forage for food in the winter. You may see them in your yard for two or three days devouring a crab apple tree's fruit and then not see them again the rest of the winter.

At the end of February and the beginning of March the winter flocks begin to break up. Robins begin singing for mates and defending territories. Then you'll know it's spring when you see a robin bouncing across the lawn looking for insects and worms. This is followed closely by them checking out mud puddles and dried grasses for nesting materials. They like to nest near human dwellings, often on a porch ledge or a nearby tree in the yard.

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

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