Flocking to Winter Berries
February 8, 2017 by Rita Welch

People are reporting flocks of robins feeding on trees laden with winter berries until the branches are bare.

American Robin Migration

When snow is blanketing the ground — look up — robins may be feasting in trees such as bittersweet, hackberry, hawthorn, red cedar, crabapple, and highbush cranberry.
Jody Roberts

Waves of Wanderers

Flocks of robins go where they can find food in the winter. When one source becomes depleted, they wander to another place.

Since January 1st, observers from 41 states and 4 provinces have reported "waves" of robins that were roosting in trees, feasting on berries, and drinking from streams, puddles, and birdbaths.

People from Florida to Alaska and coast to coast — in all kinds of weather — described the wintering behaviors they witnessed:

Texas: "American Robins have arrived in Leander in massive waves — as many as 5,000 birds. Every morning and evening, the sky is filled with thousands of them!"

Alaska: "Large flocks of robins around the trees near Costco on Debar. They swarmed the mountain ash tree on the right side of the warehouse."

Robins are very nomadic at this time of year. Their wandering can change dramatically because of food availability and weather patterns.


Anne McCarthy

Waves of Robins in Alaska

Glenn Yockey

Journal: Citizen Science
How do people's observations help tell the story of wintering robins and their spring migration?
Wintertime Food
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Next Update February 15, 2017