Saturday 4 April 2020

American Robin

Saturday 4 April

Another Saturday and no live sport but still receiving birding reports from around the world.  The following comes from my friend Peter Thoem over in Ontario, Canada and is taken, with Peter's permission, from his own blog, "My Bird of the Day."  Peter is also lucky that in his home not so far from Toronto, he is still able to get out and about and makes a special point of finding walks (trails) where he can almost guarantee self-isolation and still enjoy his birds.

Mention of the Red-tail Hawk reminds me more and more how numerous Buzzards are now back in the UK  from when I was a lad.  Then they were a rarity but the Common Kestrel was numerous.  Now, in my experience it is in many ways the opposite position.  Similarly, when asked by a birding friend only this past week about why a Yellowhammer was referred to as a Yellow Bunting, having replied I also, tongue in cheek, posed the question how long before our Robin has to be renamed along with possibly Wren and Blackbird, so following the path of Fan-tailed Warbler (Zitting Cisticola) and Purple Gallinule (Purple Swamphen and since amended to Western Swamphen)!

My Bird of the Day: Burlington ON. April 1 2020.
American Robin Turdus migratorius (PHOTO: Peter Thoem)
Various levels of government have shuttered parks, woodland trails and other places of exercise. I think they mean to protect us from ourselves but it does frustrate me. Today I followed a rough old trail that few know about, I think it was a farm track at one time. As spring progresses, I’m optimistic that its route through scrubby second growth, pine plantations and mature deciduous forest will be quite good for birding – provided the authorities don’t find a way to close it off.
The lengthening and warming days have caught the attention of many birds and I watched Red-tailed Hawks circling over patches of woodland, in one case two of them kept within a short distance of each other so I took them to be a probable breeding pair. A little later another individual swept slowly and quite low overhead, my camera is rarely ready enough but I managed to get a couple of lucky shots.

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis (PHOTO: Peter Thoem)
Mundane though American Robins may be, they are still elegant birds. As I made my way along the path, a group of eight or ten male robins moved ahead of me, keeping
a safe socially distant space between them and me. Still, I managed to photograph one of them with some success, here it is and I think he was My Bird of the Day because he’s handsome and anything but mundane.

American Robin Turdus migratorius (PHOTO: Peter Thoem)
Peter Thoem April 2, 2020 
Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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