Robins, robins everywhere: Winter-like weather sidetracks migration


The early bird that gets the worm will have to wait until the snow clears.

If you've been outside in the Twin Cities lately, you've probably noticed thousands of robins lingering in yards and tree tops, waiting patiently to migrate north.

Kirk Mona, outreach coordinator for the Warner Nature Center, tells the Star Tribune that the unusual number of birds is somewhat of a "train-station effect" for robins that come south to Minnesota for the winter and are unable or unwilling to return north. Those coming from the south have gone as far as they can.

On his blog, Twin Cities Naturalist, Mona sums it up this way: "Pretty much the entire Mississippi Flyway's worth of robins are backed up in the Twin Cities right now. These are resident birds mixed in with a sizable percentage of all the birds in Canada."

Although the metro has far less snow on the ground than in the northern part of the state, food sources for robins are limited.

Bird expert and author Sharon Stiteler tells WCCO the birds should be OK. They'll have to settle for a "ramen-noodle type" diet of berries and spider eggs.

"Like us, they are simply waiting for the weather to improve. This is about as far north as they dare go at this point," Mona says.

Next Up

Matt Shoemaker

Matt Shoemaker removed from rotation, fits in with Twins bullpen

The right-hander allowed two ninth-inning runs in a 6-4 loss to Houston.

1200 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - May 2019

1 dead, 1 wounded in shooting outside funeral in Minneapolis

The funeral was for one of two people killed in the shooting outside a Minneapolis nightclub in May.

Screen Shot 2020-05-29 at 1.51.13 PM

Darnella Frazier awarded Pulitzer Prize special citation for George Floyd video

She was just 17 when she filmed George Floyd's murder at 38th and Chicago.

MN Food Truck Festival 3 jpg

MN Food Truck Festival returns with events in St. Paul, Anoka

Organizers promise 50-plus food trucks at each festival - including some newcomers.

Brian Mock body cam screengrab from charges - 2021.06.11

Charges: MN man bragged he 'beat the s**t' out of cops in Capitol riot

He was one of two suspects arrested in Minnesota and charged Friday.

Screen Shot 2021-04-01 at 3.30.32 PM

$23 a month for Bally Sports North? It could happen, per report

There is a way to circumnavigate the system already ... but it's kind of naughty.

Keisa Lange

4th suspect arrested in death of woman found along St. Cloud road; 3 others charged

Keisa Lange was found dead on the side of a quiet cul de sac from a gunshot.

Minnesota State Fair

It's official: Minnesota State Fair is on, with no COVID restrictions

Proof of vaccination won't be required, and face masks won't be mandatory.

ATV, all-terrain vehicle

Boy, 12, killed in ATV crash near Monticello

The boy was driving the ATV on private property.

Go Fund Me - Jupiter Paulsen

Suspect in random attack on girl, 14, in Fargo now charged with murder

The victim died from her injuries earlier this week.