Count off how many days in the future that is. So why is it that when you look out your window at your home's front yard, the lawn is covered with large numbers of robins? After all, isn't old Mr. Robin Redbreast supposed to be the harbinger of spring? Doesn't everybody talk about the "first robin of spring"? What gives? The poor folks up in the polar north are mired up to their earlobes in snow, slush and ice.
They write songs and poems about this fabled "first robin of spring. These songbirds desert NYC when the arctic furies unleash their savagery on that northern metropolis, and these birds don't make their return until about the third week of March. Oklahoma City is blessed with some pretty mild winter weather.
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Oliver traveled to Lesser Slave Lake, a three-hour drive north of Edmonton in Alberta, during the last three springs to learn more about the American robin. Lesser Slave Lake is a popular stopping place for robins that migrate north during springtime.
Some of the million robins on the continent spend their summers in the same areas they overwinter, but many head north to make more robins, perhaps for the ample insects and other foods available here in the warm season. Photo by Brian Weeks. Oliver and her co-workers fitted a few migrating robins with GPS backpacks the size of a dime. With those, she could tell where the birds went, as the transmitters sent a blip to satellites every two days from April to June. Many of the 55 birds went to Alaska for the summer, scattering from north of the Brooks Range to the Kenai Peninsula.
Researchers are trying to learn how a warmer world affects bears, caribou, wolves, songbirds, and other animals. Researchers with the Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory in Alberta have been keeping tabs on robins and other birds for a long time.
Since , robins have been showing up there about five days earlier every decade. But the earlier arrival at the lake has not been steady; during years with late-spring snows, robins arrive later to Lesser Slave Lake. A robin chick in a nest near the middle fork of the Chandalar River.
Robins don't wait for Sooner spring
Photo by Ned Rozell. During those big snow years, robins also hang around at Lesser Slave Lake longer, delaying their arrival in Alaska. What is it doing? What time of year is it? Could it be a male robin that is singing to attract a female mate? Soon you may be able to recognize the sounds of a robin even before you see it. Attracting Robins to Your Yard You can attract robins to your yard by supplying food, water, or a safe place to nest. With the help of an adult, you can set up a bird feeder.
04/17/ Robins Continue Migrating Northward
Robins prefer to feed from a flat tray or platform feeder. You can build a simple one with instructions you can find in books, or you can buy one. Bird feeders are usually attached to a pole or hung above the ground from a tree. Robins love to eat fruit, so a good way to attract them to your feeder is with pieces of apple, pear, or orange, or with berries such as blueberries or cranberries. Their bodies cannot digest it easily.
Robins need water as well. If you do not have a birdbath, you can fill a clean garbage can lid with fresh water and lay it on the ground. You can provide a safe place for robins to build their nest by setting up a nesting box. This is usually a wooden box with one open side that gives the robins a good view of their surroundings.
An adult may be able to help you build a nesting box. You can also buy nesting boxes at stores that sell bird supplies. It should be placed in a hidden spot so that it is safe from cats and birds that prey on the eggs and chicks. Putting the nesting box within view of a window is a good way for you to be able to observe it easily.
Just remember to be very careful not to disturb the nest. International copyright secured. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the prior written permission of Carolrhoda Books, Inc. Carolrhoda Books, Inc. Website address: www. Summary: Rhyming text explains the behavior and life cycle of robins. Robins—Juvenile literature. PP65 The Songbirds of Pain.
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