14 December 2019
Have you noticed it, too? There are so many robins in Pittsburgh right now!
American robins (Turdus migratorius) are versatile birds. They change their diet from insects and earthworms in summer to fruit in winter. They don’t care if it’s cold but they need lots of food in winter so they migrate more in response to food than to temperature.
Most robins move south in the fall but some remain north in large flocks that wander in search of abundant fruit. They choose Pittsburgh in December because we have lots of fruit on our native trees, ornamentals, invasive vines, and shrubs.
Here are just a few of the items on the robins’ menu.
When the fruit is gone and the ground is frozen, the robins will leave. I expect that to happen in early January.
(photos from Wikimedia Commons, Kate St. John and John English. Robin migration quoted from Journey North.)