The folks in the Riverwalk Bird Club don't just watch birds. The group includes some excellent photographers.
Nooga.com Outdoors is happy to share their great photos by featuring a Bird of the Week.
This week, we feature an American robin, taken by Bret Douglas.
The quintessential early bird, American robins are common sights on lawns across North America, where you often see them tugging earthworms out of the ground. Robins are popular birds because of their warm orange breast, cheery song and early appearance at the end of winter. Though they’re familiar town and city birds, American robins are at home in wilder areas, too, including mountain forests and Alaskan wilderness.
—An American robin can produce three successful broods in one year. On average, though, only 40 percent of nests successfully produce young. Only 25 percent of those fledged young survive to November. From that point on, about half of the robins alive in any year will make it to the next. Despite the fact that a lucky robin can live to be 14 years old, the entire population turns over on average every six years.
—Although robins are considered harbingers of spring, many American robins spend the whole winter in their breeding range. But because they spend more time roosting in trees and less time in your yard, you're much less likely to see them. The number of robins present in the northern parts of the range varies each year with the local conditions.
—Robins eat a lot of fruit in fall and winter. When they eat honeysuckle berries exclusively, they sometimes become intoxicated.
—Robin roosts can be huge, sometimes including a quarter-million birds during winter. In summer, females sleep at their nests and males gather at roosts. As young robins become independent, they join the males. Female adults go to the roosts only after they have finished nesting.
—Robins eat different types of food depending on the time of day—more earthworms in the morning and more fruit later in the day. Because the robin forages largely on lawns, it is vulnerable to pesticide poisoning and can be an important indicator of chemical pollution.
—The oldest recorded American robin was 13 years, 11 months old.
This information is courtesy of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
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