The Robins of Longfellow
The robins of Longfellow winter along the Mississippi River shoreline and Minnehaha Creek. When I first noticed robins in the winter, I was surprised. I had always associated them with spring and summer. As long as they can find their main winter food, berries, they can survive. Robins are not a bird that will typically eat from a bird feeder. They learn early on that berries grow on trees! However, they have been known to eat mealworms from feeders.
Along the rocky shore of the Mississippi River, robins drop down to drink then chirp to alert others. Several more robins fly to join them. After sipping the river water, they each fly up to the top most branches of the barren maple trees to catch the morning sun. A kingfisher flies and trills along the shore.
Ice pockets of swirling water rush and spill their way to the river underneath the footbridge of Minnehaha Creek. In this sheltered wooded habitat, robins fly up as you walk the path. Their dull brown winter plumage aids in keeping them hidden from predators. The “chick a dee dee dee” of the chickadees adds more music to the scene and occasionally you can hear the one syllable “er er” of the junco. Winter is just beginning, and the river bottom offers surprising possibilities of sound and beauty.