Sometimes a great notion---Accidentally attracting many Robins----Re: [Tweeters] cold-weather bird story

notcalm at notcalm at
Tue Nov 23 21:58:10 PST 2010

Hello Dianna and Tweeter people,

Thanks for you suggestion regarding adding more feeders in additional locations. It worked! Today, "the pair" was back and the young male sat on his own feeder. The male and female slowly fly near each other and share the feeder. The other had been doing a very serious, aggressive chase allowing no access to the feeder.

Last night I decided to try blowing off the powdery snow from my driveway, with my leaf blower. My neighbors are probably still taking about it. It worked surprising well- except the strong winds blew some back. This morning, I looked out the window at my driveway and it was clear. Then I noticed much activity in the 12- 18" strip of grass and mud next to the driveway, an accidental consequence of the snow removal (or moval). I went outside and found 16 Robins feeding on the uncovered ground- all in 20 foot strip. All lined up and oriented in the same direction- a very unusual sight- they were seriously searching for food and allowed unusually close approach. I found more in the run-off "creek" in our yard, and a few more gulping orange berries on a small bush. No Robins have been seen in our yard for a while.

Tomorrow, I will expose more mud, grass and leaves. Had not occurred to me that Robins would have difficulty with 3-4 inches of snow. One, eating berries, had ice on both mandibles- had not seen that before.

Also: many (12-16, they are in five different places in our yard and move, so difficult to count) Oregon Juncos, including a Slate-colored and another male that was almost all black on the dorsal feathers-- the unusually bright light resulted in much apparent color variation seen in this species; three Flickers, one Male Downy; three Red-breasted Nuthatches; six Black-capped and five Chestnut-backed Chickadees; four Spotted Towhees, one frequently fanning it's tail in the snow in response to another male perched above it; seven Starlings (unusual species for our yard); two Bald eagles (in a neighbor's yard below us); one Varied Thrush heard; but not seen; one Crow, with five in a flyover; one pile of Junco feathers (somehow, an Accipiter must have taken him when I wasn't looking); 17 House Sparrows; five Song sparrows; one unidentified Sparrow (sp); one Pine Siskin and of course, three Steller's Jays. Not present today- the always appreciated Bushtit flock.

Dan Reiff
Mercer Island.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dianna Moore" <dlmoor2 at>
To: Tweeters at
Sent: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 7:38:07 PM
Subject: [Tweeters] cold-weather bird story

Well, after all the posts about the Anna's I had the first real fighting
this morning...26 degrees, two feeders out...4 adult males battling it out
over the four-port glass bottle feeder under the eaves in the weak sun. They
were so intent on driving one another out that no feeding was going on & I
was concerned about all that energy expended. They finally broke and all got
on a port and sucked like crazy for a bit, then off they went again on the
next was crazy!

Meanwhile another adult male, an immature male and a female were taking
turns at the double port half cylinder upstairs. A friend of mine has two
more of those and will loan hers to me for the winter. I'll keep you posted
on the results of all the feeders.

I also counted 18 Fox Sparrows, 8 Golden-crowned Sparrows, 8 Spotted
Towhees, 3 Red-breasted Nuthatches, myriads of both chickadees, 2 Steller's
Jays, 9 Dark-eyed Juncos, 2 Song Sparrows and several crows...oh, and 2
Douglas Squirrels. It was a busy morning.

Dianna Moore
dlmoor2 at
Ocean Shores, WA.

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