Robins and Promises of Warm Weather

birds_singing male robin
Singing male Robin

Flocks of Robins are hunting in the grass. When I see groups of the rusty-breasted birds scurrying on the ground in formation, I know spring is here.


Hunting in Formation

The flock moves in unison. The birds are spaced equally apart. They were finding worms to eat. I watched several birds gobble down earthworms. Perhaps, hunting together improves their chances of success.

The Robins cock their heads to the side when hunting. I think they are looking at the ground as their eyes are on the sides of their heads like most animals that are prey. Top predators eyes are often rather flat on the front of their faces. Think of a lion or a wolf.


Robins in the Snow

Over twenty years ago, I was looking out of a library window, and saw a small flock of robins. The snow was falling and their rusty-red breasts were eye-catching. I had never notice the birds among the snow before. Now each spring I watch for them.

Robins flock in the beginning of spring and at the start of the breeding and nesting season. I suppose they are socializing, picking mates, and hunting.

The robins that spend the spring and summer in my city neighborhood, disappear as summer turns to autumn. They migrate a short distance away from their summer breeding grounds. The birds spend the winter in nearby woodlands.

A male American Robin with the orange-red breast. The male has a black head, the female a gray head. Photo by Donna L. Long.
A male American Robin with the orange-red breast. The male has a black head, the female a gray head. Photo by Donna L. Long.

Flocking Together

The next time I see a flock of Robins, I’ll have to check to see if it is made of mostly females or males. Male Robins have deep brick red breasts and black heads. A female has a light orange or red breast and a dark gray head.

Furthermore most of the Robins I see flocking in the spring are groups of one sex, either female or male. I think the males emerge from the woods earlier than the females. Perhaps the males are re-establishing their territories or picking a new one out.

More on Spring Birding

Spring Bird Migration for beginning BIrders

Spring Warblers – Birding Tips and Techniques


Post updated 25 February 2022


  1. donna- read your robin report this morning, but realized that you are seeing them in philly, and earlier than we see them in minnesota….then at noon i looked out my window, and down by the pond was a flock of robins! robins have arrived in shakopee, minnesota! thanks for the robin info. jennifer

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