Robins stay in Michigan for the whole winter, but they behave differently than they do in the warmer months. In summer, you often see lone robins or pairs of birds on lawns and trees in urban back yards, where they eat worms and many other things. In contrast, during the winter they flock together and prefer more wooded areas where they can find berries to eat. We saw a huge number of robins flocking around in some trees in town recently.
I know that many people are very excited to see robins return to their back yards in spring, but I was determined to see some winter robins! I saw one near our house just before New Year's, and finally saw this flock today. (For more robin facts, see this page at the Cornell Laboratory Website.)
Another beautiful bird that stays around here during the winter is the bluebird. While searching for a robin, we saw three of them in a park not far from our house. I love the way that they keep their vivid blue color even in winter.
|Three bluebirds in a tree.|
The Cornell Laboratory website has an interesting paragraph about what bluebirds eat:
"Insects caught on the ground are a bluebird’s main food for much of the year. Major prey include caterpillars, beetles crickets, grasshoppers, and spiders. In fall and winter, bluebirds eat large amounts of fruit including mistletoe, sumac, blueberries, black cherry, tupelo, currants, wild holly, dogwood berries, hackberries, honeysuckle, bay, pokeweed, and juniper berries. Rarely, Eastern Bluebirds have been recorded eating salamanders, shrews, snakes, lizards, and tree frogs."
|A cold and wintery day.|
|On another walk: the stream not yet frozen.|
|And a somewhat more exciting bird on another walk: a Merlin,|
which is a type of falcon.
Blog post and all photos © 2021 mae and len sander.