Be A Nature Detective: Robin Red Breast First Sign of Spring

By Diane Chase

Honestly, my children think the first sign of an Adirondack spring is the Michigan hotdog guy that places his cart at the intersection of Route 86/30 in Paul Smiths.

That fellow is sometimes out there waiting for Paul Smith College students even in weather that Mother Nature's first sign of spring, the Robin Red Breast, finds daunting.

Robin Red Breast or the American Robin  

• Robins are the largest of the North American thrushes

• A thrush is a medium-sized songbird with a brownish to grey back, loud song and spotted breast. Examples are robins, bluebirds, blackbirds, nightingales, Bicknell's thrush

What do they eat?
As an omnivore robins eat mostly insects and worms, small fruits and seeds though they can eat small reptiles and amphibians.

What eats them? 
Jays and crows will eat baby robins during nesting season. Owls and other large predators will consume robins, large and small. Outdoor cats stalk robins as they feed on the ground as that is where robins will find a lot of the insects and worms.

Pesticides will keep the weeds out of your yard but also kill songbirds and can poison their food source (earthworms). Just something to think about.

Where do they go in winter?
 Robins do migrate short-distances but live most places year-round. We tend to see them as the first sign of spring because when the earthworm start migrating toward the surface, it brings the robins around the eat them.

Where do robins live?
A variety of habitat, which makes the robin so common. They live in urban areas like parks, yards and hedges as well as wooded lots and forest borders, marshes and fields. 

What color are their eggs? A bright blue

What is a clutch?
A clutch is the group of eggs produced at one time. 

Want more trivia? 
Look for almost 100 trivia questions in Adirondack Family Time™ Tri-Lakes and High Peaks: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities (with GPS coordinates) 

In addition to 33 easy hikes for the Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Keene Valley, Wilmington,  Jay and Upper Jay , there are also 19 swimming holes/beaches/waterfalls, 21 historic sites,   18 inside activities/nature games, farmers markets, sleigh rides, over 40 ski/snow trails, horseback riding and more! Enjoy your time outside! 

© Diane Chase,


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