January at the Langley bird feeders brought two surprises. The first, which I spoke about in my previous post, was three Eastern Bluebirds that, for the first time in my experience, came to feast on the berries and nuts in our suet feeder. The second was a robin that arrived only a few days later. As with the bluebirds, it was the first time I have ever seen a robin at our, or for that matter, anyone's feeder. While the bluebirds were quite comfortable snacking directly on the suet and seed cylinders, the robin was satisfied gleaning spilled seed on the deck below. Why did these two members of the thrush family show up, for the first time, at the same time? It has not been an especially harsh winter where we live, no ice, very little snow, and relatively mild temperatures. On our neighborhood walks, my wife and I have observed large flocks of robins and starlings feeding on the berries of ornamental fruit trees. They were present for several days and, perhaps, consumed all the winter fruits the robins and bluebirds depend on to sustain themselves when insects are hard to find. For whatever reason, we were happy to see them up close, and hope our feeders are helping them get by through hard times.
Brent Langley is an internationally known artist who enjoys sharing his views on art and nature.