Robins and Berries

You may have noticed numerous American robins about your lawn and shrubbery lately. They’re on the move. Flocks of these common birds are sweeping through our area.

To most, robins are synonymous with earthworms. Who hasn’t witnessed a robin wrangling a worm out of the ground on a spring day? Truth is, besides the lowly worm robins eat plenteous fruit.

If you happen to see robins swarming around a particular tree in your neighborhood, that tree may be loaded with berries of some sort. Robins love berries. Sumac, hawthorns, dogwoods, hollies, and junipers are the most likely candidates for a robin berry raid at this time of year. It’s juniper, or red cedar here at the museum, that’s currently drawing in mobs of robins. The birds flocked around one particular tree for most of one day, and part of the next, while striping the tree of its fruit.

 

American robin on red cedar.
Robin snatches a juniper, or cedar, berry.
A pale individual.
Classic American robin.
Note streaks on throat.

Most folks tend to ignore robins when they see one, you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. But notice the white around the eye, the yellow bill, the pale tips to some of the breast feathers, and the variation in shades of their wing and back feathers. Stop and watch the birds for a while. You may begin to realize, they don’t all look the same.

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