I am a little scared of the New Year 2011 already. And we’re only a day or two into it.
New Years morning at 9:30 am I am out snowblowing the 6 inches of freshly fallen snow in my driveway. The sun was beaming brightly with the temp a balmy 3 degrees and the wind chill running around -11. AfterÂ doingÂ my driveway I shut off my Craftsman and soaked up the solitude of a new snow and a new year. You can imagine my surprise to hear what I could swear was a Robin chirp. I knew I had a couple of cocktails the night before, but was in bed by 11:30 pmÂ Â and fully functioning New Years Day.Â
I took several steps down my driveway to focus on which tree the chirping was coming from. Sure enough from the top of our crab apple tree in our front yard perched a fluffed up orange breasted robin.
I have lived in Minnesota almost all of my 50+ years and have never seen a robin in the winter, yet much in Bemidji, Minnesota on a freezing January morning. I looked up on line and did find some stories of robins “overwintering” in the North, but most go to Mexico, Florida and along the Pacific coast.
A person starts wondering if this is some sort of sign, like “global warming”, or is it an indication of just how screwed up this year is going to be? I guess about 60% of a robins diet is from berries and seeds with the other 40% coming from bugs, worms and insects. (I can tell you for sure there are no worms out and about now). How does a robin decide to “overwinter”? (Sounds like a term used in the hospitality industry). Did it get “tricked” into staying by some other deceitful birds telling it how great the winters are in Minnesota?
At first I felt sorry for the bird and was tempted to go to TABERS BAIT and buy some maggots, or grubs for the bird. Then I decided to just yell at the bird (which the neighbors probably thought I was drunk from the night before) telling the robin to “Get Out of Here…go to Minneapolis”. The thing just stared back and chirped. I think it was asking to borrow my stocking cap.