Nature Watch: "American Robin"
Last updated 3/21/2023 at 9:33am
The American robin is not an uncommon winter visitor to Anza-Borrego, but this year the iconic bird has arrived in numbers seldom seen here.
The first clue was during the annual December Christmas Bird Count, when 935 robins were recorded, nearly three time the number observed in the previous record year of 2014.
While snowbirds visiting Borrego Springs may find this unusual, this harbinger of spring in colder climates is more like the messenger of coming winter here in the mild climate of Southern California.
This colorful bird can be found throughout the county during the winter but is most common in our oak and pine woodlands and inland valleys feeding on native plants such as toyon, wild grapes or coffeeberry, along with garden ornamentals.
The robin is a member of the thrush family, and easily identified by its black head, white eye ring, yellow bill and most prominently, a beautiful reddish breast on the males. Females have similar plumage patterns, but colors are paler.
Much has been written about the large numbers of American robins seen this winter in San Diego County.
While the exact reason for the increased numbers is not clear, the consensus is that food availability could be a major factor. Like many parts of the west, San Diego has enjoyed a long, wet winter and nature is responding.
You may see an American robin in some of the local trees. The bright red breast is easy to spot.
Other recent sightings have been reported at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center, Christmas Circle, Coyote Canyon, La Casa del Zorro, De Anza Country Club, Tamarisk Grove Campground, Yaqui Well, Palm Canyon Campground, The Palms at Indian Head, Club Circle and Clark Dry Lake.
Contact Ernie @ Packtrain.com or follow http://erniesoutdoors.blogspot.com/