American Robins

American Robins are fairly large songbirds, and are very familiar over most of North America in the spring and summer, running and hopping on lawns with an upright stance, looking for insects and earthworms.

Although they are considered harbingers of spring, many American Robins also spend the entire fall and winter in their breeding range throughout the United States.  Those that breed in Canada will migrate to the United States.

 

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In fall and winter, American Robins form nomadic flocks from fifty to thousands in size, gathering in trees to roost or feed on berries.

This was exactly what I found at Prime Hook NWR.  I had never seen so many American Robins at one time, feasting on the berry-laden trees around the Visitor’s Center and along the Dike Trail.

 

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There were hundreds!

 

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The large fall/winter flocks will break up in the spring, prior to nesting season.   When northerners see their “first robin of spring,” it may be a bird that has wintered only a few miles away, not one that has just arrived from southern climates.

 

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It was most enjoyable watching these birds in such a large flock as they ate, chirped, and flew around Prime Hook.

 

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