American Robin winter crabapple turdus migratorius, americanus ©kim Smith 2015American Robin and Crabapples

Right on schedule, the robins have returned to our East Gloucester neighborhood! They were seen flocking to the holly berries, crabapples and sumac. This morning it was bleak and drizzly; I hope to see them back in our neighborhood on a sunnier day!

Dear Readers, If you spot robins in your garden or neighborhood, please comment in the comment section and let us know when and where. If you get a good capture of a robin, or any songbird for that matter, please send to and I will be happy to share the photos here on GMG. Thank you so much!

For more information about robins see previous posts here:

American Robin Nestlings 

The American Robin and Bird Food

I Love Sumac


  1. There has been a flock of 20-30 robins hanging around here on Orchard Way enjoying the holly and privet bushes for a couple of days. I’ve never seen a flock that size so early….(wishful thinking) it’s a good omen for an early spring.


  2. James Armstrong writes ~

    I have no photographs of the event; only vivid memories of images of birds I associate with Springtime, hanging-on for dear life to berry-laden branches that whipped about like fly-fishing poles in the driven snow. I noticed at the height of the storm that there were robins in quantity around my house. Even when we met eye-to-eye at my bedroom window, the robins were too intent on staying near their food supply to flee.

    I live on the east side of Lobster Cove. Beside my house are two trees: one a dogwood and the other a spindly, berry-bearing tree of the Rosaceæ family – possibly a Sorbus “Joseph Rock.” The berries – about the size of blueberries, but orange-red, are found in cherry-like clusters on the branches. I cannot see both trees at once from inside the house, so my head-count is definitely questionable. The birds were on one tree or the other all day long; scavenging on the berries or resting/roosting on the dogwood.

    Once, during the height of the storm on the 27th I saw sitting in one of the trees, twenty birds at least. They were definitely male robins of the kind shown photographed on your website. There was, however, one Starling among them.

    They picked the tree clean even down to the desiccated remnants of berries that had shriveled on the branch. Naturally, as soon as there was no more to eat, they were gone. And soon, also was the wind-blown snow.

    I did find my car after some probing-about and diligent shovelling.

    That’s the report.

    Best regards,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautiful reporting James–thank you for sharing.

      So many thanks to everyone for your reporting. Please keep your sightings coming. It seems as though every year at this precise time, the traveling flock of robins appears on Cape Ann and it is very interesting to follow their movements and food preferences.


  3. My yearly flock of robins finally arrived today to feast on privet berries, Manchester/Gloucester line. My guess would be about 15 to 20.


  4. Perfect timing: I was startled just this morning (Sat. 1/31) to see my first robin, a big, very red male trying hard to cling to a holly bush in the wind, but failing. Made my day to see some color in the yard on blustery Harbor Road in East Glou!


  5. We were alerted to their presence in our back yard by our indoor cat. Mojo spent the better part of today staring at a plump pair of Robins feasting on small berries just feet away from the window. We are on the boulevard.


  6. Good Morning Kim, What do Robins eat. All we have is a couple of Holly bushes and there is not much there. Time to knit little sweaters for the birds. I thought they only came in warmer weather.


    1. Good Morning to you anitacd. At this time of year, robins primarily eat berries–winterberry, sumac berries, holly berries, juniper berries, and crabapples. They also comb our shores for small fish and mollusks. I am reposting an article this week that explains more about what they eat and discusses our year round robins and migrating robins. I would love to see a birdie in your knitted sweater!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have one that fits my hamster but I have not tried it on a bird as of yet. I would send you a picture but I don’t know where to send it. Sorry about the post above this one. I hit enter before checked out the spelling.


    1. Hi Doug, They love our winterberries, too, and holly berries, and crabapples. I am going to repost a short article that I wrote awhile back that help explains why we see flocks of robing in mid-winter. Thanks so much for reporting.


  7. Hi Kim. Yesterday, hiking in dog town I saw about a dozen robins. During the height of the blizzard (1/27,) I saw flocks (20 – 30) of robins around Wheeler Street. I had never seen so many at once, and thought they had ‘blown up the coast’ with the wind from the storm. Many seemed to taking refuge from the wind, hiding amongst the inner branches of holly and pine trees. I didn’t realize they migrated up here this time of year. Thanks for the great photos and interesting information!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Fascinating that there have been so many reported in the Wheeler Street area! Thank you Karen for this latest update. Tonight at my 6:00 time I am posting an article that i wrote awhile back that I hope helps people understand more about the robins in our community.

      Liked by 1 person

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