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There's a robin eating my winterberries

Wakefield, MA

I am so glad to see this rather large red-breasted robin hanging out near my winterberry bush. But I am concerned for him--should he be hanging around here in Massachusetts in mid-January? Should I be putting out food for him? water? a bird house? He looks a little bloated. Is he just a healthy plump?

Thumbnail by ilovedahlias
Essex Junction, VT(Zone 4a)

yay!

I don't think you need to be concerned. Robins are not known to visit feeders (they're not seed eaters IIRC). So I don't think you need to put out food - just your winterberries.

Having a bird bath is helpful for all overwintering birds, as long as it doesn't freeze. I have a heater for my bath since I'm so far north.

Birds tend to fluff out their feathers to help keep them warm, so that is probably what we're seeing.

Wakefield, MA

oh, thanks! That makes sense that he's fluffing out his feathers. He really was round! Well he stayed with us for about a week, ate almost all the berries, but not all. I guess he's found a better place to feed because he's not been around for a while. It was so nice having him. He practically camped out on the bush or right across the driveway from it for a whole week. Robins must have a special personality compared to some other birds, like the sparrows we get alot of, but I never felt the presence of sparrows as strongly as I did this robin.

Essex Junction, VT(Zone 4a)

You might be interested in this link - it talks about how there are more robins than usual in New England due to the lack of snow cover.
http://naturallycuriouswithmaryholland.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/overwintering-american-robins/

Wakefield, MA

That's definitely it! I saw a poor fluffy all-black caterpillar out on the bare ground next to where my butterfly weed grows. All this warm weather is confusing everyone I guess. I even saw crocuses in bloom in Rockport today!

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