Harbinger of spring, or lost?

Discussion in 'Bird' started by marlingardener, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

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    For the past few weeks, we have had intermittent robins. Not flocks but one or two or five at once. We can't decide if they are migrating, or just lost and sitting in our trees and feeders until they get their bearings. Whichever, we are glad to see them!
    Robin 5.jpg
     
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  3. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    They are always lovely to see...and so much larger than our ones.
    Enjoy those guys as long as they last.
     
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  4. Kildale

    Kildale Nature's Window

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    Good picture,they are always nice to have around.
     
  5. mart

    mart Strong Ash

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    We used to have a bunch of them but,,,I don`t think we are on their flight path anymore !
     
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  6. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Let's all hope they are heralding spring!! I could certainly use some sunshine.
     
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  7. Netty

    Netty Chaotic Gardener Plants Contributor

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    Seeing a Robin in my yard is always a sure sign of spring!
    I have noticed, though, that if I take the dog for a walk in the bush, there are several out there all winter
    When I see the first flock of red winged black birds, I know without a doubt that spring isn't far away!
     
  8. Jerry Sullivan

    Jerry Sullivan Garden Experimenter Plants Contributor

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    We have a holly bush large enough to produce thousands of berries each year. For this reason, it is my harbinger of a cold winter. As the frigid weather settles in, the birds begin to snack from the berry laden branches. In the dead of winter I have seen as many as 24 Robbins getting their daily meal. How fast the berries "disappear" tends to indicate the degree of coldness for the winter. Some seasons the melting snow of spring reveals hidden meals on the lower branches. This year we are halfway through the coldest season and there is not a berry to be found. Though harder to procure the birds will have to do with foraging from the bayberry bushes. Last week I saw a full grown turkey in a bayberry bush eating its noon meal.

    Robbins do not migrate as other warm season residents do, they head for deeper woods and will occasionally make an appearance if their woodland source runs low.

    Robins typically have two broods of nestlings although 3 or even 4 are possible. Their progeny fill the void left by a high winter mortality rate. As many as 80% of the population does not see a new spring. (Ref: 1977 Audubon field guide)

    Spring greening provides many robins with a lawn full of food. A Robin may extract as much as 14 feet of worms per day from a high-yielding lawn. I wonder how many they get from our lawn?

    Spring can not get here soon enough.

    Jerry
     
  9. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    Thanks Jerry. I did not know this about Robins, particularly that they don't migrate. And that 80% don't make it through the winter!

    We have a Robins nest near our front door that gets reused every spring/summer. The robins do raise two broods. I had just assumed it was the same couple returning year after year. Now I am guessing not. Maybe is their progeny coming back every spring?
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2021
  10. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

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    Photos of robins aren't all that rare, but this robin in a tree was framed so nicely by the kitchen windows, I just couldn't resist posting!
    Framed Robin.jpg
     
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  11. Clay_22

    Clay_22 In Flower

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    I don't think spring is coming anytime soon for the northeast, tomorrow's storm expected to give us 12" of snow. Think Punxsutawney Phil may be snowed in Tuesday.
     
  12. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    MG, you have quite an eye. I think i would have missed that framing, but your eye zoomed right into it.

    @Clay_22 yes we are getting that same storm. I met a new recruit (prospective gardener) at the Community Garden this morning before the snow started. I figured if she didn't choose her plot now, it'll probably be invisable (buried) for some time to come.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
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  13. marlingardener

    marlingardener Happy

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    Cayuga, you are too kind! My husband is the photographer, I just post. If you see a photo I've posted, the picture (and talent) is his.
    Take care with the storm and keep warm and safe. One good thing, the only good thing, about snow is that it adds nitrogen to the soil.
    This may cheer you up, or not:
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Cayuga Morning

    Cayuga Morning Strong Ash Plants Contributor

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    What? Snow adds nitrogen to the soil? How so? From the air?

    Oh, and chuckle! Yes....I am in Never Neverland.
     
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  15. Sjoerd

    Sjoerd Mighty Oak

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    Heh, heh, heh. There’s a lot of info on that map, Jane.

    Chortle, Cayu.
     
  16. Jerry Sullivan

    Jerry Sullivan Garden Experimenter Plants Contributor

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    Snow in the late springtime is often called the "poor man's fertilizer". The snowflakes on their journey earthward add nitrates from the air. The enriched flakes are welcomed by the emerging plants. Rain and lightning contain more nitrogen. Plants like the rain:).....but they don't like the lightning:eek:.

    Jerry
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2021

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