Monday, November 22, 2010

Surprise Backyard Visitor

As I was watching and counting birds for Project FeederWatch last this afternoon, I was really surprised to see this American Robin perched on the edge of the birdbath. Fortunately my camera was close by and I was able to capture this series of photos, because we just don't see too many robins here in Minnesota on November 22nd.

"You know Robin, it's only 30 degrees outside. Even though you're standing on the birdbath heater, I don't think that water is much warmer than 40 degrees!"

A test of the water with wings and tail is the first step toward scooting off that birdbath heater.

Into the bath -- with one foot on the heater for security -- never can be too sure how deep the water is.

Wow, that must feel so good! I love watching robins take a bath -- they're such vigorous splashers. Just look at all that water spraying around!

Now for a few more flutters with wings and tail......

Back up on the heater and the bath is all done. I looked away for just a moment and when I turned to the window again, the robin was gone -- hopefully moving on to warmer regions.


Gaelyn said...

You just have to take advantage of a warm(ish) bath when it's available. Nice series.

KGMom said...

Hmmm--I wonder if the robin was soaking up the heater warmth as well.
We have some robins that winter over here in central PA, but it is warmer here than your colder northern climate!

Dave said...

They winter over here in Alaska too! That's nice you have a bird bath with a water heater in it.

Anonymous said...

Yes we have some robins too, but they only come to drink out of the birdbath. If it goes down to 15 tonite as predicted I think they might leave. We have shelter, food and water(with a heater too) so a couple might stay as they have done in the past. I still hear an occasional chirp. We do have lots of chickadees and jays in the back yard and woodpeckers and finches in the front yard. Now my feeders will be busy for the rest of the winter. No snow cover here yet.


Jayne said...

I know he/she so appreciated that chance for a nice "warmer" bath!

Bonnie said...

I still have robins here, too. It is very strange that they are still here. Love your photos!

RuthieJ said...

Thanks Gaelyn. You can never underestimate the importance of unfrozen water -- esp. this time of year!

Hi Donna,
I know some robins are able to survive a Minnesota winter also if they can find adequate food (mostly fruit) and decent shelter. Maybe my backyard habitat has gotten to the point where robins will be able to stay here this year too!

Wow Dave -- those are some brave robins you've got to winter in Alaska!
This is one of 2 heated birdbaths in my backyard. This little heater won't be able to keep the entire bath unfrozen, but I'm hoping there will always be a little bit of open water right around the heater at least.

Hi Mom,
I heard a robin's chirp last Saturday too and was really surprised. The activity at my birdfeeders has really picked up too, even without any snowcover.

That's what I thought too Jayne.

Thanks Bonnie. The robins must be getting tougher to survive a Minnesota winter! (or maybe we're just starting to provide better backyard habitats to help them survive)

Birdsong said...

Delightful sequence! I hope you are recovering from the snow blast by now... that's about what we went through three weeks ago, minus the Metrodome failure. I just discovered Birdchick and am really, really envious of the cameras you both must have.