Thirsty robins

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We had a surprising number of robins (Turdus migratorius) in the yard last week when our temperatures dropped to 12 degrees. The bird bath, with a heater that keeps the water from freezing, became a very popular spot.

Six robins drinking at bird waterer on snowy morning

Robins also flocked to the unheated water of the waterfall and ‘pond.’ At one point I counted twenty of them.

Robins drinking from water feature

Doves, cardinals, starlings, and white-throated sparrows also came to drink, but the majority of the visitors were robins. I’m not sure where they’ve been spending the winter, and by noon most of them were gone. They added a lot of life to the backyard on a cold winter morning and we enjoyed their visit.

22 thoughts on “Thirsty robins”

  1. How sweet is that! Every day that you post a photo brings a smile to my face! Thank you for sharing your wonderful talent and knowledge.

  2. Feels so good to help the birds out in this way. I enjoyed similar gatherings in my backyard.Thanks for the beautiful photos!

  3. Beautiful photos as always!
    We noticed groups of robins at the edge of the woods near our house last week. Yesterday we had 4 in our yard pulling worms out of the mud since our yard is a bit swampy at the moment πŸ™‚

    1. Judy, it’s interesting that you, too, are seeing robins and that they are finding worms in January. I’m wondering with the predicted colder temperatures if they may leave open areas for more shelter – as in the woods.

  4. Hi Betty, your robins are much redder than ours here and ours don’t have those red beaks. I guess their beaks are more orange, now that I look again. But they do come out in droves when the weather warms after a storm. Haven’t seen too many around lately. Could be because we have 3′ of snow right now and it’s coming down again like crazy as I type this. I’m trying to appreciate it, I really am, but I have to shovel AGAIN tomorrow?

    1. Keli, I think the color on the robins depends to a great degree on the lighting. As to snows, we’ve had light snows but no 3 inch ones, yet. It could be a great photo opportunity and photographing it would be a lot more fun than shoveling. On the other hand, think of the muscles you are developing. (smile)

  5. Hi Betty! i too saw the largest flock of robins i think i have ever seen at my country home in northeast franklin county. they filled four large oak trees and flew around together in startlingly beautiful spurts. i’ve heard they band up together in winter but have never seen so many at once. at first glance i would have thought it was starlings for sheer numbers, i didn’t believe they were robins! i do have two streams bordering my hillside…i couldn’t believe my garden was providing THAT much seed to be so attractive, but now i realize it could have been the compost pile(worms), though they weren’t foraging so much as flying around. maybe they were scouting, or maybe they knew my cat was afoot. thank you with heartfelt gratitude for all of your elegance, studiousness, and attention to mystery.

    1. Sounds like an unusual gathering of robins, Melissa, and hard to know what they were looking for. I know they like berries and I often see them eating crab apples this this time of year. Glad you saw them and shared the experience with the rest of us and thanks for your compliment.

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