Winter brings two things of concern for Robins; cold temperatures and food scarcity. Food shortage is caused by a decline in invertebrates’ population, such as insects and earthworms in winter. It leaves us with a million-dollar question, what do robins eat in the winter?
The answer lies in the reaction of Robins towards winter. In this article, we will talk about everything related to what do robins eat in the winter. So, fasten your seat belts and grab your snacks.
Behavior Of Robins
You can observe the reaction of Robins to these extraordinary conditions in two ways. Some birds move towards the South as far as Texas and Florida, which leaves Northern Canada emptied of the Robins.
They migrate to the South not only due to freezing weather but also due to scarcity of food. Insects and earthworms that are a warm-weather diet of Robins start vanishing as the winter progresses, leaving it with the choice to migrate or adapt.
Adopting a changed diet is the second way of reacting to the winter. In summer, Robins eat a protein-rich diet consisting mainly of invertebrates. However, they changed to a vitamin-rich diet such as fruits and berries in winter. They become nomadic and move from one place to another, searching for food.
What Do Robins Eat in The Winter?
Finding food is more important than finding shelter in winter. Because snow covers the soil in winter, which freezes underneath, and keeps earthworms, the favorite food of robins, underground.
Finding a sufficient and steady food supply is important to provide the energy necessary for moving, surviving, and staying warm. Robins eat winter berries and fruits left on trees, shrubs, and vines.
Cold weather keeps the fruits from spoiling, turning them into a winter treat for Robins. The diet includes junipers, hollies, hawthorns, and crabapples. Their winter diet is rich in vitamins compared to a protein-rich summer diet.
How to Help Robins In My Yard During Winters?
The best way to help Robins in winter is by providing them with food. Offer them seasonal fresh fruits, or you can switch to frozen fruits. Robins are ground feeders and may not like bird feeders.
The best way to feed them is to buy a bird table, or they rather eat straight from the ground. So, place blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, raisins, or apple slices on the ground for the birds. You can also offer some mealworms to feed hungry Robins, a diet rich in calories.
Extreme cold freezes water resources, making it difficult for Robins to find a water source for drinking. It will be a great help to place some warm water bowls in your backyard for the birds.
It is important to note that the temperature should not be less than 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Why? Because a temperature less than this will coat feathers of Robins with ice, due to which they can’t fly.
What Is The Best Food To Feed Robins In Winter?
Robins like to munch on creepy crawlies in summer. But in winter, they transition to a more plant-based diet like berries. The favorite food for a Robin is insects such as beetles and invertebrates such as earthworms.
However, both of these become scarce in winter. So, the few options you are left with to feed Robins include berries, fruits, frozen fruits, and mealworms. Live mealworms are one of the most natural foods you can offer to Robins visiting your garden. They are rich in nutrition and packed with calories to make them a perfect meal.
If you offer such treats to visiting birds, they will be more than happy to visit your garden often. You can also put some fruit jelly on a plate and place it on a bird stand to attract Robins to your backyard.
Do Robins Eat From Bird Feeders?
All birds are different from one another, and so are their food and feeding habits. Robins also have different feeding patterns, including feeding directly from the ground or flat surfaces.
They are ground feeders and don’t come near hanging bird feeders until there is a supporting platform. Suppose you want to attract robins to your garden in winter; investing in a ground feeding tray and bird table is recommended.
Ground feeding trays are ideal because they look natural to a ground feeder. Similarly, bird tables provide a solid platform for Robins to devour their food. Smash some fruit and mealworms and place them in a ground feeding tray or on a bird table to give Robins a winter treat.
What Do Robins Eat In The Winter When The Ground Is Frozen?
Winter Snow in Robin’s native areas covers everything, including the ground, which is the source of Robin’s diet. They can no longer feed on their home territory and become nomadic, searching for food. It is not like summers when the food is abundant. So what do robins eat during the winter? The answer is simply that they have to scavenge for food to survive in winter.
Robins like to snack on insects, but they can’t do it in winter. The only options they are left with are berries and fruits. They search for berries that are still present on some bushes or vines. Fruits do not spoil in cold weather and become a viable dietary option for Robins.
Do Robins Eat Oats?
Like most birds, Robins can also eat Oats. However, it should be raw Oat rather than cooked or moist. Moreover, Instant Oats and rolled Oats are easy to digest for Robins.
Oat is rich in nutrition, including healthy fibers, vitamins, and minerals. It is perfect for scattering Oats in the grass so Robins can hunt for them. You can also add Oats into the suet to compensate for missing nutrients.
What Do Robins Eat In The Winter In MN?
Winter Robins of Minnesota are extremely adaptive, and a small percentage prefers staying put rather than migrating down South. They like to stay in swamps and valleys to escape the cold and search for wild fruits, spider eggs, and other animal matter to feed.
Cedar trees, hackberry trees, and the fruits of native mountain trees along the North Shore also provide robins with food to sustain their needs. When they visit the home gardens, people feed them with berries, mealworms, apple slices, raisins, and raw meat.
What Do Robins Eat in The Winter In Michigan?
Many people wonder what do robins eat in the winter in Michigan. The American Robin is the state bird of Michigan, declared in 1931. The common misconception about Robins in Michigan is considering it to be a summer harbinger. However, some Robins stay in Michigan throughout the winter.
They gather in flocks and move from place to place, searching for fruit trees, such as shrubs and vines. Robins’ most preferred food source is winterberry, also known as Michigan holly.
It is a delicious red berry on which Robins love to munch in winter. As long as fruits and berries are available, Robins can withstand very cold temperatures.
What Do Robins Eat In The Winter In Ohio?
Robins have a depleted food supply in winter like everywhere else in Ohio. However, there are still some food choices for Robins that choose to stay during winter.
These include chokecherry or crabapple trees with small, brightly colored berries. Moreover, leafless winterberry trees are frequently available to offer food in the early winter. The usually insectivorous robins will change their diet and become sugar-lovers during winter.
What Does It Mean When You See a Robin In The Winter?
There are myths that all Robins migrate to the South during winter, and seeing a Robin in winter is a sign of early summer. However, that’s not entirely true. The migratory behavior of Robins is very individualistic. While many Robins migrate a little towards the South, some prefer to stay.
They are adaptable birds and can endure very cold temperatures. They can be found across the United States throughout the winter and feed on berries and winter fruits for survival.
You may not see them, but Robins are around you in winter. Why don’t you see them? Because they prefer to hide in forests and densely wooded areas to protect themselves from cold.
Don’t rush to conclusions regarding the season forecast if you see a Robin in winter. The only reliable bird for the forecast is the Red-winged Blackbird. When you see one, it means the summer is coming.
There are a variety of food options available for Robins. They are omnivorous birds, and they can eat both fruits and insects. However, they change their diet from insects to a more plant-based diet due to the depletion of insects in winter. Moreover, the frozen ground also traps earthworms below the surface. So, it becomes more of a responsibility for us to feed Robins visiting our gardens.
The article has covered almost every aspect of the question, ‘what do Robins eat in the winter?’ So, be prepared for next winter when Robins face food problems; they count on you to chip in.