Thursday, January 27, 2011
It must be my Eastern European roots... I love winter! Give me cool summers and winter snow, and I'm a happy girl. Our Central Ohio winter has been beautiful, if especially cold. There has been snow on the ground since just after Thanksgiving. I would much rather have beautiful white snow on the ground (especially on gray days) instead of our usual gray mucky ground. Even my dog Maggie is friskier and more energetic in the winter weather!
But... this winter, there are robins... lots and lots and lots of robins. I think they moved south from even snowier winter lands, only to find it not so great here either. Some birders say this influx of robins is partially a result of the non native shrub honeysuckle which has become a weed but provides an abundant winter food source. But now, the berries are stripped on the honeysuckle, holly and crabapples. What is a robin to do? And there are still 4 good weeks of winter left.
The past week, we have had about 5 inches of snow on the ground and temperatures dipped close to zero at night with highs around 10. One morning I looked out my window and saw a robin on one of my feeders looking for anything to eat. I have never seen a robin go to a feeder. The local outdoor bird shop advised putting out sunflower chips and chopped up raisins or dried fruit. I tried the sunflower chips first. They were a huge hit! I placed them on my patio right outside my door as Robin seemed not to mind the close proximity, but the other birds stayed away. Next I tried the chopped fruit - another success. My little robin now shows up daily, and I will keep putting food out for him as long as needed. I waken to the beautiful sound of his song, and am reminded that spring really is not that far away.