Juniper Berries Anyone?

Top Photo: American robin foraging on eastern red cedar.

Had you visited the Red Wolf Enclosure’s overlook in the past few days you may have heard the chortle of robins above. You may have had juniper berries rain down on your head. You may have seen a dozen or more birds flitting about, knocking the small blue fruit off the tree limbs in their zeal to consume them.

Juniper berries.
Berries knocked to ground by birds.

American robins, bluebirds, hermit thrushes, sapsuckers and yellow-rumped warblers have all been raiding the eastern red cedar trees at the overlook as they do each year at this time.

Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana).
American robin gulping down berry.

This is an excellent time to get good close looks at the birds as they are more concerned with feeding than with you, a potential threat at more guarded times.

Male yellow-bellied sapsucker comes in to see what all the fuss is about.

American robins are year round residents, sapsuckers arrive in October and are usually gone by April.

Sapsucker takes a berry for himself.
American robin.

Keep a lookout for these birds anywhere there’s fruit left on the trees. I’d keep an eye on the holly trees. We have many hollies here at the museum and most of them are packed with fruit.

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