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When the Red-red robin…NOT!

By Nic.Korte

Its springtime!  Someone let me know the other day they had seen a robin in their yard so spring migration must be occurring.  Well, yes and no.  I’ve seen robins in my yard every day this winter.  On the Grand Junction Christmas Count last December, we counted more than 1,400 robins.  What gives?  Actually, robins are showing up in our yards now because the ground isn’t so cold and they can find worms and insects in the grass.  They are also pairing up and looking for locations to build nests.  Those are signs of spring, but is the simple presence of robins in the Grand Valley a sign of spring? Not so much.

Robins are omnivores, that is, they can eat more than insects and worms. If that were not the case, they would indeed head further south in the winter.  The reason I see robins on a daily basis in the winter is that they feast on the berries of my Hawthorne tree.  There are many native and exotic berry-laden bushes and trees and these keep our robins fat and happy all winter.  We do have song birds that spend the winter in the Neotropics.  Perhaps, the most common is the yellow warbler…I saw several in Costa Rica this winter—along with Hermit and Swainson’s thrushes and a few others that will be returning to nest in our forests. Look for them in late April and early May. [To learn more and to participate in the activities of Grand Valley Audubon Society, such as weekly bird walks, please see our website at and “like” us on Facebook!] 


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