Eats Fruit and Leaves

American robin eating fruit in early winter, Toronto (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

23 December 2023

Early this week a big flock of American robins came to my neighborhood, ate all the fruit they could find, and left.

On Monday morning, 18 December, they were frantically eating this pyracantha fruit outside my window. At one point I counted 45 but they were moving so fast I think there were more.

Pyracantha full of fruit, 23 Nov 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

The birds were frantic because they knew bad weather was coming. In mid afternoon it snowed.

Snow flurries 18 December 2023, 3pm (photo by Kate St. John)

The next morning the fruit was gone and so were the robins.

Sam pyracantha with no more fruit, 19 December 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

American robins are still in Pittsburgh but they’re feasting in other locations. When the fruit is gone and the ground is frozen, the robins will leave.

p.s. Today’s title reminds me of the 2006 bestselling book on punctuation by Lynne Truss called Eats, Shoots and Leaves. The comma in her book title is really important. Did the panda eat, shoot a gun, and then leave? Or did the panda eat two things — shoots and leaves? … In the case of today’s blog title: Robins don’t eat leaves. They eat fruit and leave the neighborhood.

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