Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
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Sunday, January 25, 2015
Robins' winter diet in Texas
During the winter months, Robins
who happen to live up north migrate to the southern states (including Texas!)
to find food. But the ones that are already here, stay here. So the
local population swells. All these Robins don’t eat earthworms in winter of course, but
modify their palates to consume large amounts of wild berries (like from hollies) and mealworms (which are actually
Birds’ flights for the Gulf crossing are
affected by the strength and direction of winds in the upper atmosphere not by
what’s in your feeder or anything else. These winds may be stronger than
surface winds, and often are not from the same direction. They usually try to
fly with the upper-air winds so they can cover greater distances and not use up
all their stored energy. Birds will be moving much faster than observed wind
speeds so flocks are easily distinguishable on NexRad.
For the record, a really strong-flying
bird, with really good winds and perfect weather, can make the non-stop Gulf
crossing in just over 8 hours. It takes an average of 19 straight hours of
flying, however, for an average bird, and more for a small bird.
OWEN YOST, in addition
to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has lived
and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a Lifetime
Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a member of the American
Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Federation of Landscape
Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. His office is
at Yost87@charter.net in Denton.