[Tweeters] ahhhhh - the invasion of the robins

Dennis Paulson dennispaulson at comcast.net
Sat Jan 12 15:17:38 PST 2013

It was like they came from outer space. Fifteen minutes ago a huge flock of robins descended on our yard. First they completely cleaned out the last of several hundred berries remaining on a cotoneaster, which involved much flying out and pulling berries off hanging branches. As many as 10 birds were in this rather large shrub at once. Then they moved to the front yard and are stripping a Sarcococca of its berries. Some of them are cleaning out the few berries from a juniper. Others are feeding on the soil next to the driveway, probably sheltered enough that it isn't frozen. And these birds are making a liar out of me.

Just a few days ago I said I didn't think robins fed like Varied Thrushes, by flipping up dead leaves with their bill, but in fact some of these birds are doing just that. They are finding something to eat in the soil, although its too small for me to see what it is. Not earthworms, as nearly as I can tell, and those are well underground anyway at this time of year. Robins are fruit-eaters in the winter, but on a cold day like today, with dusk nearing, they're trying to fill up for the night with anything they can find. By the time I finished writing this, I think this flock - maybe 30 birds - have completely cleaned up all the remaining berries we had in our yard. The activity was fabulous for a short while.

Dennis Paulson
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
dennispaulson at comcast.net

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