Monday, November 14, 2011
|Worm-hunting robin. Oakwood Lake Township Park 11/14/2011|
photo by Jonathan Schechter
All second graders and most of their moms and dads know that robins are the first bird of spring. And more than a few local newscasters will in breatheless enthusiasm report their presence once snow melts in late March next spring. The little kids and the newscasters are wrong.
Robins are false prophets of spring.
Some migrate south.
Many stay put right in Oakland County
Early this gray mid-November morning I hiked the woodland and wetland trails of Oakwood
Lake Township Park, a lesser visted 300 acre wildland in Oxford Township in the northeastern corner of Oakland County. The grassy berm at the entrance to the park was rich with robins hopping about, ears cocked earthward, waiting for a worm to give away its location. Another
flock of robins was at the edge of the swamp feasting on late season berries. In a few more
weeks snow will cover the ground but the robins that are here now will stay. We just see them
less, because when snow covers the grass, robins retreat to thickets and swamplands and switch
to a berry diet. Some even dabble in seeds at your feeder.
When snows melt robins return to your lawn and will once again be proclaimed the
first bird of spring as they slurp down entrees of squishy worms.