Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Ruckus of Robins

On this raw November morning, a large congregation of American robins had taken over part of the Columbia Audubon Sanctuary.  Concentrated along the creek, the massive flock created both a visual and an auditory spectacle.

Flying between the stream and the surrounding trees, the robins attracted many other species, including a large flock of cedar waxwings.  The sudden appearance of a barred owl only added to the frenzy, drawing in a blue jay posse that soon dislodged the raptor with their raucous calls.  Other attendees included a yellow-rumped warbler and a ruby-crowned kinglet among more common avian residents.

Non-birders associate American residents with their well-trimmed lawns where these common thrushes hop about, stalking earthworms.  But during the winter months, when the surface soil hardens and the worms move to deeper layers, robins gather in large flocks that wander about, feasting on berries or scouring the soggy soil of wooded marshlands.  This morning's chilly, damp weather surely intensified their activity.