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Robins in Winter

February 17th, 2014 by

robin on wire close up
Last week I photographed this robin on a wire right near my house.

robin beak
Look at his beak: what was he eating?

Michelle told me that robins don’t like the birdseed; instead, they look for berries. I found a whole post on what robins eat in winter: “Winter robins eat berries, other fruits, and seeds they find on shrubs, trees, and vines. If robins happen to overwinter near you, you can offer them frozen or fresh fruit. They’ll go for apple slices, raisins, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cherries.”

robin invasion
When there are too many, they become pests. Here are a few too many robins in my neighbor’s tree. I saw more robins in a tree the next day when it was brighter, but I didn’t have my camera with me at the time. My neighbor mentioned the movie The Birds.

robins on the roof
They seem to be snuggling on the roof of my house, under the roof overhangs. I saw sparrows there as well. See all that ice? It’s been snowy and icy here.

robin in branches
Yes, we’ve had a lot of robins. I miss the cardinals – I haven’t seen too many lately. But sparrows and blue jays have continued to frequent our backyard.

Do you see robins in winter?

For more Nature Notes:
Nature Notes

15 Responses to Robins in Winter

  1. Carver says:

    Great shots of the robins. When the weather is bad, I put out a mixed bird food that has dried fruits, nuts and seeds. The robins eat the dried fruits or I assume that’s what they are eating when they join the other birds.

    • Leora says:

      I wonder if I put out a little bowl of fruit, would the robins go for it? It might get covered in snow instead. My bird feeder is too small for more.

  2. Great photos Leora. I love the detail you got. My guess about the roof and gutter area is water to drink and bathe in and maybe some insects rolled in there to eat.

    The birds tend to travel in flocks in the winter and break into family groups or pairs in the spring. Here robins appear in April, set up shop to breed and are gone by mid-summer again.

    Interesting that Carver has had robins eating dried fruit. The red-bellied woodpeckers would love that if I did that….. Michelle

    • Leora says:

      Ah, flock winter travelers, huh? I didn’t see any robins yesterday.

      • Michelle says:

        They travel in groups for safety and for looking for food.. You had mentioned a smaller bird feeder. The smaller green tube feeder closes it a heavy bird lands on it like a starling or if a squirrel tries to get in. But the squirrel can take it off the hook or branch if it wants to and is hungry. Where did you want to hang this feeder? You window feeder is keeping the squirrels off.

      • Leora says:

        I either hang it on the little tree (but I’m afraid it isn’t strong enough) or I have to buy a pole. So then it’s quite a deal to do. Maybe as a present for Mother’s Day to myself (from my daughter and husband, after I tell them exactly what to order).

  3. Love that first shot! They also like dried mealworms. We haven’t seen any robins this winter.

  4. Daniel Saunders says:

    We get robins in the UK, but they look a little different to your photos, I think. I think ours are smaller with a small red patch on the chest, although it’s hard to tell from photos.

  5. Laura says:

    Wow, amazing close-up of the robin. I am just seeing sparrows outside my house. In previous winters I also saw cardinals but not this winter for some reason.

  6. Lorri M. says:

    Great photos of the robins! I love the closeup, and also wonder what he was eating.

    It’s amazing how many robins are in your neighbor’s tree, almost looking like blossoms.

  7. Hannah says:

    Beautiful photos, Leora! It was interesting to learn what robins eat.

  8. Eileen says:

    Leora, pretty shot of the Robins.. I see them here in the winter. I think they like to eat berries and peck at the grass. I should try giving them some of my raisins. I hope the rest of your week is a happy one!

  9. A.k.Andrew says:

    These pictures are fabulous Leora, and really interesting info about them. Sorry for delay in reply- thought I had then remembered it was just on G+.
    These are just like English robins. I think the red breasted birds I’m seeing in California at the moment are different,. They don’t have the white undercarriage. I must get better at my bird names. Lovely post. Thank you.

  10. Hi Leora, Robins will pull all the worms out of the lawn! I see dozens around each day and I’m so grateful for them knowing spring is on the way. We also see a lot of Varied Thrush eating high quality sunflower seed on the ground and they are in the same family as the Robins. In the coldest of days, I just put out quality suet cakes in the snow and all the birds took their turn at it. So I think that even if it is not their natural food (they love my winterberries best), they will take that suet for the fat content.

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