Friday, November 28, 2014

Winter Berries

The last time I was at the river, there was a murmuration of starlings that kept landing, flying, disappearing, and reappearing in the trees behind me. Looking at the photos zoomed in at 100%, I could see some of the birds had berries in the mouths. It reminded me of something I saw a couple of years ago.

We have a dogwood tree that had a particularly abundant crop of berries in 2011. Over the course of two days, we were invaded by a flock of Robins that completely stripped the tree of all it's berries. They were insatiable, spending the entire daylight hours eating berries.

We just have the one tree, but a neighbor down the road has a line of about eight or ten dogwoods lining the roadside on his property. At the same time the robins were stripping our tree of berries, part of the flock was also eating them from his trees. After two days, all the berries had been harvested and the birds had moved on.

Robins do not migrate in this area. They gather into flocks, but do not leave the area. Despite this, I hear people every year talk about how spring is just around the corner because they saw their first Robin.

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