Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Robins

Snowy weather didn't keep me from participating in the Madison Christmas Bird Count yesterday. It was relatively balmy compared to this morning's bitter wind chills, which are presently blowing past -30d. F. Though somewhat unremarkable to most birders, over 100 American Robins were reported on the Madison CBC. During a recent snowshoeing excursion through Pheasant Branch, I pointed out an American Robin perched on a snowy branch to a woman who was walking her two dogs. I wanted to see her reaction, so I said, "Hey look, an American Robin!" She responded, "Oh my, what's it doing here? It better fly south! Will it be alright?" Amazingly, some robins are able to endure Wisconsin's harsh winters. I don't know whether these are birds that migrated this far south from extreme northern regions of their Canadian breeding range, or nomadic non-migratory flocks in search of food. For more detailed information on robins during winter, check out Nuthatch's February 2006 article "Robins in the Snow" from Bootstrap Analysis blog.

All images © 2008 Mike McDowell

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