For the Birds: Robins are bountiful this winter

American robin on snowy branches in New England, Feb. 2022.

It appears to be a good winter for juncos, blue jays and goldfinches, based on feedback from readers. Other than a few reports of pine siskins, it doesn’t seem to be a particularly strong winter for the typical irruptive species as sightings of redpolls, grosbeaks and red-breasted nuthatches have been scarce.

I’ll add American robin to the list of birds that have been seen in abundance this winter. This doesn’t mean that spring is here already, of course. As I write this, a winter storm is predicted for the next day. Several more weeks of winter-like weather are ahead of us, I’m sorry to say.

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It’s nesting season all right

Photo by Chris Bosak A Baltimore Oriole nest in Stamford, Conn., May 2015.

Photo by Chris Bosak
A Baltimore Oriole nest in Stamford, Conn., May 2015.

I took a walk around a local park in Stamford, Conn., yesterday. I knew the warbler migration was winding down, but I figured I’d see a few late migrants and perhaps something else interesting. Something always happens when you make the effort to take a walk in the woods.

I was walking happily along looking up in the trees for movement. With the leaves out now, movement is the only way to spot most birds. I glanced down and suddenly found myself tip-toeing frantically to avoid bird droppings all over the trail. Not that it would have been a big deal if I stepped on one, but my brain recognize Continue reading

It’s a robin kind of winter

Photo by Chris Bosak American Robin in Selleck's Woods in fall 2013.

Photo by Chris Bosak
American Robin in Selleck’s Woods in fall 2013.

I’ve written a lot about American Robins this winter — and do so again in this week’s For the Birds column — but the demand for such information is great as everyone seems to be seeing tons of robins this winter.

Here’s an excerpt from the column: “True, they are known as a harbinger of spring, but American Robins are with us all year here in New England. Some robins migrate south to warmer places, but many robins stick with us throughout winter, too, surviving on berries, crab apples and other natural foods they can find in the woods and our backyards. Robins are usually found in flocks, some rather impressive, during the winter.”

Click here for the rest of the column.

It was really comments and questions from readers that prompted the column. Here are some comments I have received from readers.

Jack from Norwalk, Conn., wrote: “Saw around 10:30 this AM small flock of Robins just 30 yds West from junction of S Continue reading