American Robin Facts
I went walking with my husband Jeff and Millie (my Yorkie) at the park over the weekend and saw and definitely heard nothing but American Robins. You know the bird with the blackish brown head and wings and the orange breast. It is probably the most familiar bird to many people.
They were everywhere! In the holly bushes mostly eating berries, but also hopping around on the ground looking for worms. The temperature was around 35 degrees and it was sunny.. A good time for robins to be out and about don’t you think? Or is it?
Are American Robins supposed to be here in the winter months when it can get down into the single digits in temperature? Don’t they migrate south only to return late March or early April to announce that spring is here? Well that is what most people think anyway. But in actuality a lot of robins never leave or at least do not travel too far unless there is a scarcity of food. Some will stay put and stick out the cold North American winters and will hide in trees and shrubs to stay warm. With their thick down feathers they can hold in body heat and to maintain that body heat they shiver. Of course they have to have the energy to do this and that comes from the food that they eat.
What Do American Robins Eat?
Robins eat the berries from many types of bushes and trees such as the Winter Holly, Crabapple, Chokeberry, Hawthorn, Bittersweet, and Hackberry. Of course you can feed them yourself using a platform feeder or suet feeder that has fruit included in the mix. Raisins, cranberries, apples, pears, oranges, blueberries, and currants are all good food for robins.
Something else to think about if you want to keep them coming back to your yard is to have a birdbath set out. This is so that they can obtain drinking water and also to be able to bathe for cleaning and maintaining their feathers. All birds need this year round not just during the summer. You can use a heated birdbath in winter. There are the kind that is part of the bath itself or you can get a heater to place in a birdbath that you already have.
It is not unusual for American Robins to be hanging around during the cold winter months. Most people do not even notice them because they have migrated themselves to the indoors where it is much warmer. Everyone is so worried about keeping warm that they miss what is going on outside….American Robins feeding in the trees on berries. If they are not doing that they are hiding in the trees and shrubs from the weather keeping warm with their down feathers.
Come late March, early April the robins will still be here and when people finally start to venture to the outdoors for exercise they will hear them announcing that it is springtime.
Do you have American Robins hanging around your backyard this winter? If you live in North America you probably do especially if you have berry bushes or feeders with fruit. Let me know if you see any and please feel free to comment below.