Robins?? in the snow!! The wind is blowin’…the snow is snowin’… That’s how that old song goes and it is sure true today. We are experiencing what folks from Maine fondly (okay, maybe not always fondly) call a “nor’easter”! Looks like most of the state will get 10″ to 15″ of snow by the time this storm blows by.
But wait… doesn’t the sighting of a robin tell us that spring has sprung?! …that winter is bidding us farewell?! Well then, spring must be here—or at least it is spring in Lisbon, Maine. Our daughter sent me these photo’s on January 26th. Night-time temperatures were well below zero and daytime wasn’t much warmer. But here you have it…robins in Maine in the middle of winter.
After doing some research, I found that wildlife biologists and birdwatchers say that robins are fairly common winter residents in Maine, especially along the coastal regions. It turns out that they are really short-distance migrants when they can get away with it. They lack the compulsion to fly far south each fall, despite the fact that everyone thinks that they fly south. Who knew that robins are opportunists and not all that ambitious.
In the winter months, robins are likely to stay in large flocks where there is an abundance of fruit. They seek crabapples, mountain ash, and any leftover berries that they can find. People plant ornamental shrubs that also produce fruit for all birds and to help robins survive.
These birds can survive for several days if inclement weather prevents them from feeding because they carry fat reserves on their bodies. However, they may go further south if an ice storm or blizzard prevents them from finding food. Some of the robins that are seen in Maine have come south from northern Canada. Canadian robins are bigger and darker than the birds that we normally see here in Maine (these robins do appear to be both larger and darker). I guess that Maine may be balmy compared to northern Canada!
There you have it. If you live in Maine and see a robin in your yard in January, don’t put your long johns away quite yet! Spring is just 51 days away.