[CT Birds] Comments on Robins
ctgregh at yahoo.com
Sat Jan 9 18:21:52 EST 2016
I love these kinds of topics because they're inevitably complicated and involve a lot of factors, some not immediately obvious. I would tend to think that robins around right now may not include many "local" birds, despite the abundance of fruit. Our local robins seem to clear out quite early and may not have been affected much by the fruit like crabapples that ripen later. I noticed (and posted about) an abundance of mid-to-late summer fruit, primarily sour cherries, on which robins (and rose-breasted grosbeaks, Baltimore orioles etc.) were swarming to earlier in the year. These fruits aren't persistent, and it's my sense that the later-ripening fruits around now attracted later arriving birds.
Also I don't think the robin numbers are evenly distributed right now. I'm seeing robins every day in my part of the state (northern New Haven, southern Litchfield counties mainly) but not in the numbers Jay described in the Hartford area. As a result there is still a good amount of fruit over here. I known because every time I drive by a crabapple tree I slow down to see what's in it. Robins are quite nomadic in winter anyway, so I suspect when cold weather converges with diminished fruit in some areas they'll move to other parts of the state or other states.
But of course some (more than most people want to imagine) will die because that's what happens in winter. They're prolific birds that have no trouble covering their losses.
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