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Old 04-18-2008, 02:58 PM
Tastes of Chocolate Tastes of Chocolate is offline
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Do robins travel in flocks?

Do robins (the bird, not the superhero sidekick!) travel in flocks? It's finally spring here in Minnesota, and the other morning I looked out my front window to see about 8 robins in my yard. During the warm months, you see robins around, but not in that kind of number. So was there a party in my front yard and robins from all over were gathering, or were the birds travelling together and stopped of at my yard for a bite?
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Old 04-18-2008, 03:33 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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No. A few may move around together, but you'll never see a flock of say 30 to a couple hundred going somewhere together. Now sandhill cranes I see in the fall gather into flocks of hundreds in fields.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:09 PM
fortytwo fortytwo is offline
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I don't know if we're talking about the same Robins, but here they're extremely territorial all the year round. If they have too they will fight to the death to protect their patch.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/bird.../territory.asp
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:13 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Yes, they do flock. In winter they can gather at night in roosts of hundreds to thousands. During the day they break up into smaller groups to forage. A flock of eight would not be unusual.
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Old 04-18-2008, 04:15 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vetch
I don't know if we're talking about the same Robins, but here they're extremely territorial all the year round. If they have too they will fight to the death to protect their patch.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/bird.../territory.asp
Different bird. The American Robin is not very closely related to the European Robin.
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:06 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Heck, I rarely see one fly farther than 20 ft. Based just on the ones around here I'd guess they're not much better fliers than chickens. I doubt that's actually true, but it sure seems that way.

And if they can just barely fly, they sure can't flock.
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:21 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy
Heck, I rarely see one fly farther than 20 ft. Based just on the ones around here I'd guess they're not much better fliers than chickens. I doubt that's actually true, but it sure seems that way.

And if they can just barely fly, they sure can't flock.
Robins actually fly pretty well. Some individuals migrate thousands of miles (from Canada to Guatemala).
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Old 04-18-2008, 06:44 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tastes of Chocolate
Do robins (the bird, not the superhero sidekick!) travel in flocks? ... During the warm months, you see robins around, but not in that kind of number.
Robins do travel in flocks, when they are going long distances (like flying south for the winter and back in the spring). But once they arrive at their summer locations, the flock disperses and each bird (or pair of birds) finds a location for their nest, and claims that and the surrounding area as their territory. And you will usually see only them, because they do defend their territory from outsiders.
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Old 04-18-2008, 09:55 PM
susan susan is offline
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They like to hang with varied thrush.
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:52 PM
Finagle Finagle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri
Yes, they do flock. In winter they can gather at night in roosts of hundreds to thousands. During the day they break up into smaller groups to forage. A flock of eight would not be unusual.
Yep. Looked out my window one warmish day this past February to see a large flock in my yard -- I didn't count them, but would have guessed a hundred or so.
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Old 04-19-2008, 12:02 AM
DesertDog DesertDog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri
Different bird. The American Robin is not very closely related to the European Robin.
<Hesitates, then decides to ignore a Monty Python reference just hanging there.>

Apparently a handful of our guys wind up in Great Britain from time to time.
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Old 04-19-2008, 01:15 AM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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What I have noticed, in recent years, are a few robins still here during the winter. I don't recall ever having seen this before. Perhaps some of them are becoming acclimated to our winters? Or global warming?
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Old 04-19-2008, 08:29 AM
Sal Ammoniac Sal Ammoniac is offline
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In fact, speaking of which, I saw a flock of robins here (Eastern Massachusetts) in January. I think they've always been semi-migratory, but maybe the tendency toward staying put has become more pronounced as the climate has warmed.
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:34 AM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45
What I have noticed, in recent years, are a few robins still here during the winter. I don't recall ever having seen this before. Perhaps some of them are becoming acclimated to our winters? Or global warming?
There have been a number of papers recently documenting that some species of migratory birds have been wintering farther north in recent decades, correlated with climate change.
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:40 AM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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The real question isn't "do they flock?", it's "do they rock?".

Why yes, yes they do.

/lameness
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Old 04-19-2008, 10:47 AM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susan
They like to hang with varied thrush.
Or nestled safe, in leafy bush,

Last edited by Contrapuntal; 04-19-2008 at 10:48 AM.
  #17  
Old 04-19-2008, 04:34 PM
IdFindAnAAnswerForThat IdFindAnAAnswerForThat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45
What I have noticed, in recent years, are a few robins still here during the winter. I don't recall ever having seen this before. Perhaps some of them are becoming acclimated to our winters? Or global warming?
I read a thread about this awhile back, I can see how they don't fly south if they get food, but how can they be sure they're gonna get it?

Lazy robins.

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Old 04-19-2008, 10:52 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdFindAnAAnswerForThat
I read a thread about this awhile back, I can see how they don't fly south if they get food, but how can they be sure they're gonna get it?

Lazy robins.

Perhaps overly-optimistic robins. I have no evidence that the ones I saw actually survived the winter.
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Old 04-19-2008, 11:00 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IdFindAnAAnswerForThat
I read a thread about this awhile back, I can see how they don't fly south if they get food, but how can they be sure they're gonna get it?
If food gets short, they can always fly south. Nothing demands that they stay in one place all winter. Lots of birds have variable migration depending on the severity of the winter.
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