I always like that time of year when the robins break away from their territories and start roaming in larger groups because I'll go a long time without seeing any and then all of a sudden my lawn will be covered with dozens of birds all at the same time.
These days I haven't been seeing them much in the evenings except when they head off to their nighttime roosts. I only hear them briefly if at all and then they're done for the night. But last week I noticed an interesting pattern when I would sit before sunset.
I noticed that in the middle of my sits I would see the flock fly up into the big red spruce tree in my front yard. They would act nervously and look around for a few minutes, then they would fly west over and around the house and they'd be gone.
This same pattern repeated day after day. I was so curious about why they were doing this because it seemed like they were agitated but I wasn't quite sure what was triggering it. After seeing this pattern repeat a few times I gained a new piece to the puzzle.
One evening I was sitting out at my spot when I noticed the flock going up into the red spruce again. They looked around nervously. Some of them made a call and then kept going but more came in behind them to fill the space.
There were a lot more robins this time than there had been previously. I could feel a tension building in my body as I felt more & more sure that something was coming. A mourning dove blasted away from our feeder with whistling wings and then the rest of the robins gave a "tsip!" call and flew in suit.
For a brief few seconds it seemed like there were birds flying every which way in total mayhem until around the side of my house came a sleek flying predatory bird moving north to south. I couldn't believe how fast it was flying as it swerved through the trees and out of view.
The birds settled down pretty quickly after it left but I took longer to settle. I've had so many questions about the activities of the predatory birds on this property & my mind was spinning with excitement about what I just saw.
The next evening I went out again to see if I could learn anything new.
Just like the day before... the Robins started gathering up and moving through the landscape in a hurry. I was watching and waiting and finally I saw it... Swooping this time from the opposite direction, our hunter flew right through my yard.
- When will our resident bird eater strike again?
- How long can the robins maintain their evasion?
- What will happen when the leaves fall and there's no more cover?
Stay tuned to find out!