American robin on berry bush
Wintering American robins have moved out of the woods and into more visible sites. They can be seen in large feeding flocks along with cedar waxwings gorging on local berries.
Robins as well as waxwings can become inebriated on fermented berries.
In spring and summer robins feed primarily on the ground in pursuit of earthworms and insects. But at this time of year their principal food source is berries and other fruits on trees and shrubs.
Contrary to popular belief, robins locate earthworms by sight rather than sound.
In the next few weeks wintering robins will head north to their nesting grounds. Some robins are local and will stay in the area to nest
Robins do not seem particular about nest sites. They have used posts, porch railings, sheds and gutters. Robins have even nested in the pocket of a coat left hanging on a tree and on top of a birdhouse.
Nest building material depends on what is readily available. The key ingredient to the nest is mud. It is used to cement the materials together. One spring I had hours of enjoyment watching a pair of robins visit a muddy area of the yard to fill their beaks with mud for their nest.
If the weather is dry, this ingenious bird will take dirt in its bill and wet it in water. It may also take water in its bill to moisten dry dirt.
Robins do not nest in bird houses, but some have been coerced to use a robin shelf
. The shelf is a platform at least 6 by 8 inches with a sloping roof. It can be placed under the protective eaves of a house or shed.
Bluebirds have begun inspecting bluebird boxes. House sparrows and starlings are showing interest in martin houses. Spring is on its way!