Not All Robins Migrate

by Alexis
(Markham, Ontario)

One misconception is that Spring has arrived with the first sighting of a Robin. Not all Robins migrate south for the winter.

I've enjoyed photographing birds for a few years now and I've purchased a number of Bird Guides to help in identifying them.

This photo of a Robin was taken Jan 10/2012 in Woodland Trail by the Rouge in Scarborough, Ontario. This was one of a group of 10 Robins.

The week before at Toogood Pond in Unionville and Swan Lake in Markham, I came across numerous Robins while walking the trails there.

Surprisingly even some Great Blue Heron will remain in the winter providing there is open water.

One bird my husband and I had yet to photograph was a Bluebird. Last month my husband was involved in the Rouge Bird Count, and to his surprise saw a number of Bluebirds in Woodland Trail that he was able to photograph.

Sad to say just like Groundhog Day your first sighting of a Robin doesn't necessarily mean an early Spring. He may have never left and stayed all winter.

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How Far South?
by: Alexis

I've discovered though my many bird guides Harold that some birds you expect to migrate in the winter remain as long as there is open water and a food source available.

Last January I saw two Bald Eagles at Jackson's Point on Lake Simcoe. Because of the milder winter, there was still open water for them to fish. Once that froze they would migrate as far south as it took to find more open water and another food source.

I have also seen Great Blue Heron in Markham where I live in the winter.

Destination of migrating Robins?
by: Harold Flaming

I live in Southern Ontario and have enjoyed Robins in the spring, summer and fall. I realize a good number of Robins to migrate south for the winter.

What is the destination of these migrating Robins?

How far south do the go?

Well, some seem to stay longer than others as I have seen some quite late in the fall, and I think they head to the southern States, although, one of our readers may know for sure

Not all robins migrate
by: Alexis

Mmmmm, Ice Wine.

I've yet to see my first bluebirds either Mary Lynn. I wasn't with my husband when he took those photos.

If you're interested in bird watching or in my case photographing them today is the first day of four days for the 15th Annual Great Backyard Bird Count.

Their link is Great Backyard Birdcount

Not All Robins Migrate
by: Mary Lynn

I live in Beamsville in the Niagara area, and I watched Robins all through January munching on wild grapes.

Probably they were helping themselves to the ice wine grapes too! We had a flock of about 10.

Also was excited to hear that you saw Blue birds in the Rouge area.

I saw the first Blue bird I have ever seen in my life just last summer. Maybe thereĀ“s hope yet.

by: Alexis

You might be right Beth.

New Liskeard is pretty far north and Robins would need open water and berries around to survive the cold winter.

I'll have to get my daughter-in-law to have a look for Robins in the winter next time she goes north to visit her family in Capreol near Sudbury, or ask her if she's ever seen Robins there in the winter.

Thanks for responding.

Re Robins - Interesting
by: Beth Moore

Interesting ..... you learn something every day.

I note that you are writing from Southern Ontario;

I believe in our more northerly area (New Liskeard) the Robins do leave.

At least I hope so, in light of our sometimes -20 to -30 degree winter temps.

In any event, thanks for the enlightenment.

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