Thursday, November 1, 2007

Robin flocks are enjoying the dogwood berries

Leaving the house this morning, the dogwoods were rustling with robins loudly eating the ripe berries, calling melodiously in the process. What caught my attention is the large group of robins, startled by the door opening, that flew up to the big oak from the bird bath, and then joined their fellows in actively foraging in the dogwoods.

We have three old trees that we thought were 'goners' when we moved into the house almost 14 years ago, but years of leaf mulch have revived them considerably. An additional two younger dogwoods are showing lovely fall color right now, but aren't so loaded with berries as the older trees.

Dogwood berries have lots of lipids in them, so they're high-energy fruits (highly desirable for migrating birds).

The robin flock probably is a northerly group coming south for the winter, although we also have resident robins throughout the year. Robins are an adaptable species, so have flourished in our backyard gardens, lawns, and parks.

This range map shows how widespread American Robins are in their distribution.

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