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Berries, Fruits and Beyond: Unlocking the Winter Diet of Robins

Berries, Fruits and Beyond: Unlocking the Winter Diet of Robins

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Seeing the robins come around each year will be a welcome sight. Many people love looking out for these beautiful birds.

You know that robins will scavenge the ground looking for things to eat. Under normal circumstances, they will pull worms and other such insects out of the ground.

What happens when the ground is frozen, though? Will the robins be able to eat when they can’t break through the ground to find food?

Read on to learn what robins eat when the ground is hard and frozen. You’ll feel much more informed about what robins have to do.

Robins Become Nomadic in the Winter

During the winter, robins are going to be nomadic. They won’t be defending their home territory any longer.

Instead, the birds must fly out in search of areas where they can find food. They have to scavenge for food since it won’t be so readily available as it was during the summer and autumn months.

The frozen ground makes it tougher for robins to get food. This doesn’t mean that the birds won’t be able to find food, though.

You’ll find that robins simply shift what they’re looking for during the winter. Below, you’ll learn a bit about what they eat during the winter months as well as how you can help them.

They’ll Often Eat Berries

As you know, robins normally like to snack on worms. In the winter, these worms will be deep in the ground and the robins won’t be able to get to them.

The robins still need to be able to eat during the winter months. Typically, they will try to find berries that might still be on certain bushes or vines.

They’ll also look for other types of fruit that might be available in the area. Fruits will be good for the robins during this time because they’ll give them plenty of calories.

It’s also nice that fruits don’t spoil quickly when the weather is cold. Berries and other types of fruits will be viable food choices for robins in the winter when they can find them.

Whatever leftover fruit is in the area will become what sustains the robins during the winter. If you have bushes and fruit trees in your yard, then there’s a good chance that you might see some winter robins scavenging for food.

What Can You Feed Robins?

What if you want to try to give the robins food during the winter? Are there types of foods that will help them to survive the winter?

You can try placing various types of fruits on the ground outside. There are plenty of different fruits that the robins will be happy to eat.

Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries will be foods that robins will appreciate. They’ll also love cherries if you have any of those.

You might have good luck with placing apple slices on the ground, too. If you do this, then you’ll very likely see robins come and gobble the apple slices up.

Many people have also noted that robins like raisins. You can put raisins on the ground to feed the robins if you would like to.

Remember that these foods should be placed on the ground. Robins look for fruits in trees and bushes, but they’ll also know that fruits will fall on the ground sometimes.

If you attempt to put fruits in some type of bird feeder, then it won’t work out. Robins don’t check bird feeders because they learn to look for fruit in trees and bushes.

Birdseed Won’t Work

Feeding the robins birdseed won’t be an option. You can’t expect the robins to come to your feeders and eat birdseed during the winter months.

Simply put, robins cannot digest birdseed. They also don’t have the right beaks to eat seeds.

Birds that like birdseed have beaks that are meant for cracking. Robins are built differently, and they aren’t going to even attempt to eat birdseed.

There have been situations where extremely hungry robins have tried to eat birdseed. If the robin observes other birds eating at the feeder, then it might try it out.

Just don’t expect this to happen since it isn’t a typical situation. You could try buying mealworms for the robins, though.

Mealworms would be something that will entice the robins. They still don’t normally check feeders, but mealworms will be a good choice for feeding hungry robins during the winter months.

Provide Robins with Water

Robins are also going to need water even during the winter. If you can provide the robins with a source of water that won’t freeze, then that will help them immensely.

One option is to have a birdbath in your yard somewhere. Under normal conditions, the water in the birdbath will freeze over.

You can keep this from happening by using a heater of some sort. Another option is to place a simple floating ball in the birdbath to keep ice from being able to form.

If the temperatures get lower than 10 degrees Fahrenheit, it can be problematic for the birds. If the bird’s feathers get icy then they won’t be able to fly.

Sometimes the steam coming off of the water can coat the bird’s wings. This causes the wings to ice over.

So you do have to be careful in some ways. Regardless, bathing is important to birds, and they will appreciate the presence of a birdbath.

If you don’t have a birdbath, then you could even place a large bowl of water out for the robins from time to time. Just don’t put the bowl of water out if the temperature is too low.

Final Thoughts

Robins are such pretty birds and it makes sense that you would want to help them out. These birds do sometimes have a rough time during the winter due to the scarcity of food.

The robins become nomadic during the winter months so that they can search for food. They aren’t able to rely on worms being readily available when the ground is frozen.

This causes the robins to travel and search for various types of fruits to eat. They will check trees, bushes, and vines for berries and other fruits.

If the robins find food, then they will remain in the area until all of the food is gone. When the time is right, they will move on to find another reliable spot where they can eat.

You can try to help the robins by placing fruit on the ground that they can eat. People often place apple slices, raisins, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries on the ground for robins.

They don’t eat birdseed because it’s not something that they can digest. Generally, robins aren’t going to go around checking feeders either.

It’ll be good if you can place a water source in your yard for the robins. A birdbath will help the birds to be able to drink water and bathe.

If it gets really cold, then the birds might have issues. Temperatures below 10 degrees Fahrenheit will cause the birds’ wings to become icy when they go near the water.

Now that you’ve learned all of this, you understand how you can help the robins to the best of your ability. Hopefully, the robins will survive the winter and you’ll see more robins being born sometime soon.


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