Barnyard Birds of the Week

This week’s bird is very common in almost all of the United States year-round. They are so common, in fact, that the Audubon Society states that they serve “as a warning sign of environmental problems, such as overuse of pesticides.”

Robins fly very fast and their cheerful songs can be heard from the first light of morning, especially in spring and summer. It is a beautiful melodious song to hear in the morning.

These birds love the birdbath in our backyard, and we have seen young birds follow their parents to water there. They are very used to human interaction, so are quite friendly birds, in my experience as well. They rarely startle when we move around the yard. They will continue to drink from the fountain or search for food, seemingly indifferent to our presence.

They will often jump on the ground looking for worms and other insects. They also like to feed on berries and other fruits, especially in winter. Fruit makes up about 60% of their diet.

Mated pairs will establish a nest in a shrub or tree. Their nests, made mostly by the female, are a cup made of twigs and grasses with mud holding it securely together. Their eggs are the origin of the color name “Robin’s Egg Blue”, a soft light blue color. They hatch after about two weeks of incubation by the female and leave the nest after about two more weeks in the care of their mother. The male will then care for the chicks while the female lays a second set of eggs.

Robins may be common, but they are quite beautiful to look at. They have a nice rusty orange chest, a dark head and back, and a white ring around the eye. Juvenile Robins are also great fun to watch. Their coloring is different in that they have a very mottled appearance on their chest. They are also – like most juvenile birds I have seen – quite clumsy flyers, which makes them quite fun to watch.

These birds are frequent visitors to the backyard, so keep an eye out for them!

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