Robins are Struggling to Find Food with Earthworms Buried Deep under the Snow

This was the scene at our American Highbush Cranberry Bush on Monday.

This was the scene at our American Highbush Cranberry Bush on Monday.

These seven Robins and one Cedar Waxwing were a small part of a large flock that stripped our American Highbush Cranberry shrub border clean in a single day.  Many of us are seeing flocks of Robins returning to find the ground snow covered, frozen and the earthworms unreachable far below the surface.  Our Connecticut Birder’s List   has some suggestions as to how we can help them, thanks to the expertise of some of our contributors.  Here are some of the ideas:

  • Water soaked raisins
  • Bluebird Food
  • Mealworms (many on-line sources available)
  • And this from Meredith Sampson, a local wildlife rehabilitator and Director Wild Wings, Inc.:

“I recommend using high protein, low or no carbohydrate dry cat food – kitten food would be better as it’s higher in protein,which most birds need.  Best to use high quality brands usually found at Petsmart or Petco e.g.  Blue Buffalo, Wilderness, Wellness.  Avoid brands sold in supermarkets as they are often loaded with soy (usually GMO), food dyes and other questionable ingredients.  Birds lack the ability to process and assimilate carbohydrates especially those from grains which are often used as cheap fillers in lesser quality pet foods.  Soak the food in hot water to soften, then serve.  Soaking raisins helps to soften them, making them easier to eat and providing some much needed water.  Be sure what you put out for the birds is gone by day’s end to avoid attracting unwanted dinner guests like:  cats, racoons, etc. Happy feeding! ”

These will provide immediate relief but for long term solutions, try and landscape with native bird friendly plants.  For a few suggestions see this previous post: https://naturaliststable.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/birdscaping-a-few-native-plants-appropriate-to-the-northeast/

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