Monday, December 19, 2011
|American robin ( Turdus migratorius) in Oakland County, Michigan|
late November 2011
photo by Jonathan Schechter
American robins are common in Michigan. We see them lawn-hopping from early spring
until late autumn and some hang out in Michigan all winter. Their cheerful song, rusty orange
breast and worm-slurping behavior are trademarks.
Adults simply call them robins.
Little kids call them, "Look! A robin red-breast!!!"
Newscasters refer to them as our quintessiental early bird --the (false) harbinger of spring.
But on this blustery day at the dawn of winter robins of a different feather are on the move in the
Upper Galilee of Israel, enroute from Europe to North Africa where they will spend their winter.
The American robin (above) is actually a thrush and a member of the genus Turdus.
Our robin gained its name from homesick Europeans that settled (invaded )North America and
saw the orange breasts of "our" robin and thought back to their beloved European robins. The beautiful European robins are in the genus Erithacus and are thrush-like true flycatchers. They share that eye-catching rusty red breast of its American namesake.
The photos below are a European robin, photographed yesterday during migation near
Kibbutz Kfar Blum in the Upper Galilee by my sister.
Nature is a true artist and the diversity of birds is the art of evolution.
Upper Galilee, Israel 12/17/2011
photos by Laurie Schechter Rimon