In most places robins are a sure sign that spring is here. They usually arrive in the middle to end of March in my area, which is Eastern Ontario. Most of the time there is still a lot of snow on the ground. This year isn’t much different. There was a patch of ground outside my window and when I saw a few robins land I got out my hand held camera and got a video.
There are different varieties of robins, the ones that arrived in Ontario about a week ago are American Robins. The weather turned on them and dumped some more snow. It’s started to melt a bit and there are patches of ground sticking out here and there, but really, not very much.
Even with all that snow though I have seen bugs and caterpillars crawling along, the sun is warm enough to entice them out. Hopefully there is enough food to keep these robins fed until we get a real thaw going.
I had four robins on this patch of ground, all of them males as the males arrive first to stake out their territory. The females will come later, sometimes as much as a week or two.
American Robins a fairly skittish bird and even though I was trying to be quiet and stay hidden when I got the camera pointed at them two of them flew away. The other two did stick around and let me video them while they pecked at the ground. I thought they spotted me a few times but they still stayed around long enough for me to get a few minutes of video.
How to Tell a Male and Female American Robin Apart
The male and female American Robin look very much alike. There are subtle differences that are easier to spot if you can get a male and a female robin together at the same time. The male robin has a bright red breast and a black head, while the female robin is a toned down version. She has a lighter red-orange breast and a lighter grayish head. This difference in color makes it easier for the female to remain hidden while she is on the nest hatching eggs. The female robin hatches the eggs by herself, with the male standing by in case she gets into trouble.
What do Robins Eat?
When the weather is warm robins will poke around for worms, larvae and different bugs. When they first get here after migrating I’m told robins will come to suet cakes and chopped up apples, pears and mealworms. I always keep suet cakes out but haven’t seen any robins near them, yet. I haven’t tried the chopped up fruit or mealworms. Since robins usually like to feed from the ground a platform feeder would likely work the best for the fruit and worms.
I know I always look forward to the first sighting of a robin, they’re pretty much the symbol that spring truly isn’t too far behind.