Fruit of flowering crabapple trees a mainstay for robins
Even with temperatures approaching 0˚ F., the robins that stay around all winter need to get out and find food. One place to look for birds of all kinds at this time of year is in the row of red-fruited crabapple trees along the pedestrian overpass at the corner of Memorial Drive and Magazine. On Thursday, February 11, the trees were crowded with robins; they seem to wait until the tiny apples reach a certain stage of ripeness and then show up in force.
It was an impressive sight Thursday an hour or so before sunset, around 4 p.m. The trees swarmed with robins—about two hundred of them were feeding up in the branches and on the snowy ground below. A few purple finches were mixed in, and a cedar waxwing hung around on the outskirts, but the robins were very much in charge
They go through the supply fast, however. A look at the same spot at noon on Friday showed only bare branches–not a crabapple, not a robin to be seen.
However, a red-tailed hawk was kibitzing on both days from a tree across the street in Magazine Beach Park. Thursday he probably didn’t have any trouble finding a songbird for lunch, but Friday he was out of luck. –Mary Holbrow