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.
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
Post updated 25 February 2022