Saturday, February 10, 2007
Robin migration and wintering
We often have questions from people who see American Robins in northern regions during the winter and wonder why the robins haven't migrated south. Most robins go to warmer regions of the country during winter. A few robins may stay in northern regions, which could be a problem if severe weather sets in. Robins wander in flocks and eat fruits and berries.
Here on Sanibel Island, FL we are seeing many robin flocks, some containing hundreds of birds, who wander then descend on an area and eat fruits. Sanibel has strict laws that encourage people to keep native vegetation on their properties, so Sanibel is full of the native fruits that robins love. In our yard, they are eating the fruits of the native Sabal Palm tree that hang in great clusters. They eat many other kinds of fruits including those of Wild Coffee.
No matter where you are in the country, you can help robins during their migration by planting native trees and shrubs that produce fruits and berries. On our NH property, we plant many crab apple trees. Some people also put out raisins that have been plumped up in warm water, for robins that are caught in severe winter weather in northern regions.