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Scree - January 25, 2011

robin in the front yard


Over the past week or so, there have been thousands of robins in the tree canopies near our house in Nashville. We do not remember a year when there have ever been more. When there has been snow on the ground the birds seem to be feasting on the hackberry trees berries. As the snow melts the robins seem to prefer pecking in the ground for food.

We searched for some answers and found:

"Do large groups of robins indicate that a flock is migrating South for the winter?

American robins are surprisingly hardy as long as they have access to their winter food sources: berries and fruits. They switch over in winter from their mostly insect-based summer diet. As such, robins are facultative migrants. This means that they will migrate only as far south as they need to or are forced to by bad weather or food shortages. During ice storms, when berries and fruit are covered in a thick coating of ice, many robins flock together and move south. In the same way, if a robin spends the winter in your region, it's probably because there's enough food to see it through.

The idea that robins are the true first sign of spring is somewhat mythical. In much of northern North America, a few robins over winter, but they stick to the woods and thickets where they can find fruit and berries. Most backyard bird watchers do notice the robins' return when these birds appear on lawns with the onset of warm weather, seeking their warm-weather food: earthworms, grubs, caterpillars, and other insects." (Bird Watchers Digest)

It has been fascinating to watch the robins. We definitely hope they found what they were looking for and will return.

Elk Hunters?

Near Clinton, TN, a couple of teenagers on their ATV found an elk, spotlighted him, and shot him with a .22 rifle. The elk died. The proud hunters left the carcass in the field and began bragging about their feat. As the old saying goes loose lips sink ships and soon the teens were arrested.

I confess that I do not understand the thrill of the kill; but I do understand that this example represents all that is wrong with the hunting society. Hopefully, all who were involved will learn a lesson from this incident. Well, except for the elk, I guess he staggered for his last time.

(Knox News)