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Robins and Bad Weather
by Don Grussing, Author and Citizen Scientist

Male robins push north in spring to find ideal territories. But Mother Nature often sends spring blizzards, ice storms, or tornadoes that can be deadly for the birds. To survive such storms, robins often revert to winter behaviors. They may abandon a territory they've plotted, joining wandering flocks to find food, such as fruit still clinging to vines, crab apples, sumacs and even mushy old apples.

Some robins don't want to give up, even temporarily, their newly claimed territories. If a late winter storm hits your area, you can help sustain them by putting out goodies in snowless areas under eaves or beneath evergreen trees and bushes. Raisins are favorites, but hungry robins will eat bits of bread, bits of suet, mealworms and more. Robins have even been seen eating dead minnows dropped behind a bait shop!

A robin eats sumac on a winter day.Photo: E. Howard