Saturday, October 30, 2010

American Robin

I banded this scruffy juvenile American Robin on 10 October.  Most robins have completed their prebasic molt by October.  This bird was either a late hatchling or perhaps had some sort of physiological block to molting into adult plumage. In any event, the spotted juvenile breast spotting clearly allies robins to most other thrushes. (I last blogged about Robins on 13 July 2010.)

Despite banding no robins in June and July, October has been a banner robin month.  The robins are attracted to our water feature. This month I banded 132 robins at my Northfield residence.  For the past week, our little cul-de-sac has been blanketed by hundreds of robins. I previously reported the super low pressure cell that roared across Minnesota with rain and 60 mph wind gusts.  I banded 40 robins in the two days before the storm (24-25 October) and 25 more on the morning of 28 October.  During the two-day storm, the robins remained abundant (but I was marooned indoors). The sun returned the afternoon of the 28th, and many of the robins have departed--on the 29th I banded only 11.

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