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Archive for the 'Robins' Category

Hundreds of birds keep flocking in Antioch backyard

Titmice perching in backyard tree. Photo by Laura Carmody, Antioch, CA
1titmice laura carmody antioch

I have been watching hundreds of titmouse’s (titmeese?) flying and perching in the trees that are along my back fence. Behind my fence is open space created by a flood control channel. This activity has been going on for a couple hours now. It has been happening almost every morning for several weeks.

Last week, there were hundreds of cedar waxwings. At first, that is what I thought I was seeing this morning. Then I got my camera out. Before the waxwings, it was a hundred or so robins for several days in a row. My bird book map shows that the waxwings only winter here so I figure I was watching a huge migration happening.

What gives with the swarming robins and titmouse’s? Mind you, I’m NOT complaining.  If I have to live by a highway, I prefer the noise of the bird migration highway.
Laura Carmody, Antioch, California
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Posted on Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Under: Cedar waxwings, Robins | 1 Comment »

Robins and cedar waxwings are in town for the berries

Robin Con 2012: Robins take a bird bath after feasting on messy Japanese privet berries. Photo by Jess Kolman, Pinole, CA
1robins2 jess kolman pinole

In response to your Jan. 24 column about robins and waxwings (, I’m attaching a couple pictures of what I’ve been calling Robin Con 2012.

Like others, we normally notice flocks of robins and waxwings in January, but this year the robin count has been off the charts. John H’s description in your column sounds much like our yard, with the birdbaths completely occupied and more robins waiting around and trying to muscle in. We had the waxwings for a few days, but sadly, not as many or for as long as most years. Last year we didn’t see the waxwings at all, so I hope they are not scratching the Bay Area off their winter visiting list.
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Posted on Thursday, January 26th, 2012
Under: Cedar waxwings, Robins | 4 Comments »

Robins & cedar waxwings bathing in backyard pond in Livermore

Robins and cedar waxwings bathing in backyard pond. Photo by Richard Sears, Livermore, CA.
1robins waxwings richard sears livermore

Pre-storm eating (Jan. 19) berries from trees in our yard, and then bathing in the upper pond.
Holly Sears, Livermore, California

The robins and cedar waxwings usually arrive in the San Francisco Bay Area from up north about this time of year to feed on the ripe pyracantha berries in our yards. They don’t come every year and it’s been a couple of years since they came in large numbers. But this year, looks like they’re back again in force! I’ve received 10 emails in the last week from all around the Bay, reporting LOTS of robins and some waxwings. You are the only one to send photos. Thanks for sharing them! Nice pond! The birds obviously like it. /Gary

Robins bathing in backyard pond. Photo by Holly Sears, Livermore, CA.
1robins waxwings2 holly sears livermore

Posted on Monday, January 23rd, 2012
Under: Cedar waxwings, Robins | 1 Comment »

Cedar waxwings & robins are finally here

Cedar waxwing. Photo by Dave Harper, Oakley, CA
waxwing dave harper, oakley

The cedar waxwings and robins were pretty late this year. They usually start arriving around December, sometimes earlier, to start feeding on the pyracantha and other red berries. This year, lots of red berries but few or no robins and waxwings. I suspect because of the strange weather patterns this last fall and winter (hot when it should be cold, cold when it should be hot, lots of rain, sometimes hail).

Well, looks like they’re finally here:
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Posted on Monday, February 28th, 2011
Under: Birds, Cedar waxwings, Pyracantha berries, Robins | 1 Comment »

Robins: Check out this special robin spot at the Presidio in S.F.

Robin nesting material. Photo by Heather Van Rykn, Walnut Creek, CA.
robin heather van rykn wc

Hi Gary:
Found these while playing at the Presidio in San Francisco: Winged Wisdom – 3 sites that describe robin behavior. Each letter is framed with a steel armature and mesh netting and is filled with straw, providing nesting material for the American robin.

I love living in the Bay Area!
Heather Van Rykn, Walnut Creek, Calif.

Photo by Heather Van Rykn, Walnut Creek, CA
robin2 heather van rykn wc

Hi Heather:
You’re right! You never know what you’re going to find lurking around the next corner! (I’ll bet a lot of other bird species will be taking advantage of all this free nesting material.) /Gary

Resolve conflict with song. Photo by Heather Van Rykn, Walnut Creek, CA
robin3 heather van rykn wc

Posted on Monday, December 13th, 2010
Under: Birds, nesting, Robins | 1 Comment »

Speaking of robins: “YUM! It’s the berries!”

Robin eating red berries. Photo by Jim Kardos, Walnut Creek, CA.
robin jim kardos wc

Speaking of robins: “YUM! It’s the berries!”
Photo by Jim Kardos, Walnut Creek, CA

Got interesting photos of wild creatures in your backyard (or in the area) that you’d like to share with the rest of us?

Please e-mail your digital photos to me at Please include the name and city of the photographer (example: “Photo by Joe Smith, Walnut Creek”). Also please include a statement that it’s OK for me to publish your photo(s) in my blog.

Thanks! Looking forward to seeing and sharing your pictures of local wild things. /Gary

Posted on Thursday, December 9th, 2010
Under: Birds, Robins, Wildlife | No Comments »

Your backyard: Grass, trees, and beautiful moving things

cat and squirrel by John Campolo, Pleasanton, CA
cat squirr campolo

Hello Gary:
Two years ago I became permanently disabled due to Multiple Sclerosis caused fatigue. Since then I have become the home cook and I get to spend time in my backyard making friends and photographing them. Most people look at a backyard and see grass and trees, I see all the moving things in them.
John Campolo, Pleasanton

Hi John:
And such wonderful, moving things they are! Turn the page, dear readers, and enjoy a yardfull of John’s beautiful moving things … /Gary
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Posted on Thursday, December 10th, 2009
Under: Birds, Cats, hummingbirds, Insects, Robins, Squirrels | 4 Comments »

They’re BACK!

Robin eating pyracantha berries. Photo by Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, Calif.
robin berry1

Dear Gary:
They’re here!

Saw flocks of noisy, berry-eating robins in south Walnut Creek today!
Brian, Walnut Creek, Calif.
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Posted on Thursday, January 8th, 2009
Under: Pyracantha berries, Robins | No Comments »