Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Robins visit Willamette Valley

The robin has always been one of the first signs of spring, a promise of better things to come.

The timing for hope seemed perfect: in the midst of the snowstorm last week, a large number of robins descended on my yard in Salem, Ore., flittering and bopping all over the place.

The normally defensive, jealous birds flock together this time of year in preparation for their annual migration northbound. Sometimes they visit for just a day, sometimes they'll stay for a couple of weeks around my yard, but everywhere you look there are robins. There usually are 50 to 100 at a time, and they quickly outnumber the usual sparrows and blue jays who are fighting at the bird feeders.

According to information about robins published by Oregon State University, when they're migrating robins can fly up to 36 miles per hour and travel 200 miles per day.

I'm guessing my visitors came from Baja, Mexico, and that they had a good time there. I had some pretty plump robins in the yard. That didn't stop them from finding the bird feeder, chasing away a few squirrels for any berries in the yard, and eating anything else they could find.

Even squirrels know when they're outnumbered. They hid away, chattered furiously and flipped their tails, but didn't challenge the robins for their cherished berries.

Perhaps it's because they figured they still had their hazelnuts tucked safely away.

Meanwhile, my cats are taking up birdwatching...

Technorati tags:

No comments:

Ag in the West social media watch

Capital Press videos on YouTube

Our most popular videos