News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters Country birds

In early spring the symphonious melodies of the male American robin [Turdus Migratorius] are heard over the entire U.S.

They begin mating in April and can produce up to three broods by the end of July. The female builds the cup-shaped nest with grass, twigs, and feathers and a coating of mud for stability. Occasionally the male will assist in the gathering of materials. The nest is built in many places including drainpipes, in wreaths on doors, window ledges, and, of course, trees.

The female incubates two to five light blue eggs for two weeks, and the chicks are fed by the male and female for two weeks before they leave the nest. Worms, grubs, berries, and caterpillars are the mainstays of their diet.

As fall begins, the robins gather in large flocks to feast on many varieties of fruit. Juniper berries are a favorite food in the Northwest with elderberries, hawthorn, honeysuckle, and dogwood berries stripped from the trees. The robins can become inebriated from the fermentation of older fruit.

The American robin is a member of the thrush family, which includes bluebirds. It was named after the European robin, which has a similar reddish breast, however they are not related. A group of robins is called a “round,” a “worm,” or a “flock.”

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