We have large numbers of robins here at the house all winter, though not in
the thousands They love Wild Grapes and buckthorn (yes, I know how awful
it is), and there are springs here that keep water open. We also have a
smallish pond that manages to keep open all winter and provides a home for
over a hundred ducks - mostly mallards. I don't know what they survive on.
Bonnie Dundas, Bennington
From: Ian Worley
Sent: Monday, January 02, 2017 6:21 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [VTBIRD] Large counts of Robins .....
Thanks for your thoughts and questions below. I've put together some
numbers which may be helpful.
Large numbers of robins are not uncommon in the Champlain Valley during
the winter months. At my home on Snake Mountain in Cornwall, given a
good crop of wild food robins are always one of the most common and
abundant birds during the winter.
The numbers that have been posted so far for this season's CBCs have a
total of 5677 robins for the Middlebury CBC and 1994 for the Ferrisburg
CBC (the highest robin count for Ferrisburg was 3849 a few years ago, I
believe). The Hinesburg Count will be over 4000 for this year.
Perhaps the other CBC circles can provide numbers from this year, and
other years of note.
Here is a list of eBird checklists counts of 500 or more robins, for all
of Vermont since 2002. Note that they are all in the Champlain Valley
and winter (except one count in April). All are from 2011 to the
present. In the history of eBird in Vermont, it seems to be the case
that birders in recent times have become more able and willing to count
large assemblages of birds. If that is true, that might play some role
in the absence of large numbers being recorded in earlier decades.
I know nothing about Robin count trends anywhere else. Perhaps someone
else can provide that information.
6035 16-Feb-14 Charlotte Robin lane,Charlotte ,west side of
3500 31-Dec-16 Monkton Mountain Road, Monkton (that CBC sector
had about 3900 robins)
1533 7-Dec-16 Monkton Monkton
1252 27-Dec-11 Charlotte Charlotte Town Hall
1200 13-Apr-13 Huntington Brace Farm, Huntington Center
1139 14-Dec-13 Ferrisburgh Ferrisburgh CBC-sector 10a
1016 7-Feb-14 Middlebury Otter View Park
800 17-Feb-14 Charlotte Charlotte Ferry Landing - McNeil Cove
800 22-Feb-14 Grand Isle orchard (SW grand isle)
625 1-Mar-12 South Burlington Technology Park
600 7-Feb-14 Cornwall Southern end of Snake Mtn. Cornwall/Bridport
552 1-Feb-14 Whiting Richville Rd, Whiting
550 18-Jan-12 Bingham Bingham Shore/Georgia Shore Road
530 17-Dec-11 Ferrisburgh Christmas Bird Count(Ferrisburgh)-
Section 2 (Button Bay Area)
525 25-Feb-12 South Burlington Technology Park
On 1/2/2017 5:09 PM, Ruth wrote:
> Absolutely amazing! Did these guys forget to go S? Do they know something
> about climate change that we don't? I bet that report gets flagged BIG
> TIME in ebird! Right, Ian??? 'That's a very big number! Are you sure?
> Please provide details!'
> Ruth Stewart
> E. Dorset, VT
> From: Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Ian Worley
> <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sunday, January 1, 2017 10:51 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [VTBIRD] Monkton robins ...... Webridge eagle and companion
> Yesterday, New Year's Eve, Ron Payne and I were concluding a long day of
> owling and birding the Northern Monkton Sector of the Hinesburg CBC
> circle. Twilight was near so we decided to do one more trip around the
> sector to see if any birds were moving to roosts. Along Mountain Road
> paralleling Hogback Mountain we noticed a few robins flying across the
> road in the direction of woods occupying lowlands lining the base of the
> mountain, so we stopped to count the birds as they crossed the road.
> Ron and I do a lot of bird counting together so we went into automatic
> count mode ... each of us independently counting in silence. Wave after
> wave of robins crossed the road likely to assemble in the night's roost
> at the base of the steep slopes of Hogback. For 20 minutes we counted
> in silence. Then, a few birds started flying in the opposite direction,
> so it was time to stop the count.
> Ron asked for my total number of robins .... "3500 by 10s" said I.
> "What was your count?" Ron responded "3500 by 10s". As we drove away to
> meet with the other CBC birders we came upon another few hundred robins
> still on the move.
> On Friday early afternoon a brief squall of turbulent air rolled over
> Snake Mountain spilling showers of grauple (snow pellets) across the
> Lemon Fair flats of Weybridge as I turned onto Lemon Fair Road busy with
> an errand. Looked up at the grumpy skies and saw a large bird riding in
> turbulence just above some trees. Quickly discerned it to be an adult
> Bald Eagle, now beginning to soar in the squall's thermal uplift.
> That's when I saw a smaller, more sleek bird soaring a hundred feet
> above the Eagle.
> With binocs I confirmed the not-so-small aviator to be a beautifully
> lit, adult Northern Goshawk, wings extended in maximum-lift
> configuration. Watched the pair of raptors as they circled with wings
> outstretched, without flapping, ever gaining altitude. In less than 3-4
> minutes the Eagle was up to 800-900 feet and climbing still. The
> Goshawk? ... The Goshawk, obviously the more efficient soarer, was
> circling in and out of the filmy bases of the clouds and swirls of
> grauple over 2000 feet in altitude.