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Large robin population noted in Stephenville area

Large groups of robins are being seen in Stephenville and Stephenville Crossing this spring.
Large groups of robins are being seen in Stephenville and Stephenville Crossing this spring.

A number of people are noticing a larger population than usual of robins in the Stephenville and Stephenville Crossing area.

Bob Bruce, a Stephenville resident, was amazed at the number he is seeing around, on his own lawn on Remuri Place and when he goes walking at the former Indian Head Park.

“I’ve never seem them so plentiful,” he said. “People are telling me there is a larger abundance of them in Stephenville Crossing, too.”

Ian Warkentin, a professor of environmental science at Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook, said there are certainly some big flocks of robins moving around this spring.

Warkentin said he visited Stephenville this past weekend and was surprised to see how much snow was gone and believes the robins are pushed into the small patches of open ground to feed.

“We’ve had a late start to spring, so they are bunched up, but they’ll advance as the snow goes because they chase the melting snowlines,” said Warkentin, whose research is primarily on songbirds.

He said the robins seem to be more clustered this year because of the way the spring has worked out.

Five facts about robins

1. Robins are often the last bird to sing before sunset and have a beautiful song.

2. The difference between a male and female robin is that males have a brighter colour.

3. In the past, robins were killed for their meat. The Migratory Bird Act now protects the species.

4. In winter, the robin puffs up its plumage to insulate its body against cold winds.

5. Flocks of robins can be huge, sometimes up to a quarter-million birds during winter.

Source:  Canadian Wildlife Federation

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