Saturday, October 3, 2015

On American Robins

    This morning I watched hundreds of robins whirling through my district. It was plus 2 C (36 F) and very windy. They were not flying south but spending time eating berries left on trees. 

    Last Sunday afternoon when I was at Heritage Ranch there were again hundreds of robins in the area. They were flying with abandon and eating saskatoons, chokecherries and whatever else they could find. It was at this time that we found the pileated woodpeckers. I also took photos of robins at that time but they were so poor I deleted them.
Pileated woodpecker


   I have noticed some time ago that some people are reporting that their robins had flown south. That got me thinking. Robins nest into the Arctic. It will take them a long time to get to me in Central Alberta. In the high country, mountain meadows above the treeline, the robin is a common nester. The Arctic and mountain robins nest nest on the ground. 

    I'm wondering if the mountain robins come down from the mountains and visit me for a few weeks? I wonder how many of these birds are Arctic robins?

   These birds have frosty breasts with just a hint of color showing through. The black is also much duller.

    I've also said many times that I've seen robins in every month of the year in Central Alberta. 

   So there must be tough robins and wimpy robins. There seems to be a wide pattern in their fall migration. I don't notice this in the spring.

   No matter what , I'm enjoying these joyful robins who are passing through in this October.

26 comments:

  1. we get some all the way down in texas thru the winter. that must be where the wimpy ones go. :)

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    1. I think you're right. They don't move that far south.

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  2. We have robins here year round, but they do seem to hang out in flocks, stripping one tree or shrub of its berries at a time and then moving on to someone else's yard.

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    1. Yes we get the large flocks in the fall. I the winter the most I've seen together is seven.

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  3. Hi Red, your woodpecker shot is beautiful. I can see the wonderful Fall leaves in it too. I didn't know that robins flew south. The robins are one of the few birds besides sparrows and chickadees that I've seen a lot of. I like all birds and am very happy when I see one that is new to me. In Vancouver where I live now it is mostly pigeons, seagulls, robins and sparrows that I see.

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    1. The city is a rough place for birds.

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    2. It is for sure. If I want to see a lot of birds I have to get out to the bird sanctuary. I intend to do that one of these days and post my sightings at my blog.

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  4. I see a few here during the winter months..I think some do stick around...nice shots!

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  5. Your woodpecker looks quite different from the ones I have seen here, Yours is much bigger. Always funny to see them pecking the wood!

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    1. This is the only big one we have. The rest are much smaller.

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  6. As a kid they always flew south and the start of spring was seeing your first Robin. Now a few stick around in deep woods.Nice woodpecker shot, I saw a few yesterday but couldn't get close.

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    1. Yes, there's a definite first spring robin with bright colors.

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  7. The robins won't leave as long as there is food on the trees, I've had them all winter, too! It depends on our fall berries. They love our sumac all winter!

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    1. You're right. They have to find food that they like.

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  8. We don't see robins us till spring. I like the idea of Wimpy versus Tough guys! :-)

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    1. I think thee are different groups and they're influenced by the breeding territory

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  9. Great shot of that Pileated woodpecker.

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    1. Thanks. This guy just ignored us.

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  10. Here we only see robins starting in the spring, but in terms of migrations for birds, I expect the ducks and geese who spend summers here are already gone- for the most part, some ducks stay here over the winter, as long as they can find open water- and most of the ducks and geese around at present are from further north, just stopping for a break.

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    1. Yes some duck species leave early...like the small ducks.

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  11. They were here a few days ago eating every berry in sight...then poof they were gone. They made quite a racket when they were here too...I think winter might be coming early:(

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  12. Great shot of the woodpecker! I haven't seen a robin for awhile. I think most - if not all - of the ones here have headed south. I'd head south for the winter, too, if I could :)

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  13. That's a nice photo of the pileated woodpecker. Now, do you say pie-leated or pill-eated? Either way, they are eye catching birds.

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  14. Oh your Pileated woodpecker shot is incredible. I love to see flocks of Robins I have only seen that once in the bush drinking out of the stream in March last winter. Very cool. B

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