Re: Massive migration of American Robins

Tom Cassaro

I'm circling back on the American Robin discussion as there is an interesting article from Mendocino County on the topic, see below. Alvaro Jaramillo is quoted in the article.
Robins are still here in South Pasadena, although the largest groups I've seen in the last week have been in the 10-20 range.  The weather has made it difficult to get good, consistent views so there could be larger numbers still present.

Tom Cassaro
South Pasaena

On Fri, Feb 17, 2023 at 5:05 PM Larry Schmahl via <> wrote:
Fellow birders,

Regarding the influx of American Robins in LA County....
Sycamore Canyon in Whittier has had hundreds of American Robins for the past month. Most of them are in the mouth of the canyon.
Birders have been putting 300 birds on their ebird checklists but the numbers could easily be higher.
Because there are multiple groups, some very large, moving about, it's difficult to be sure if one is seeing old groups or new groups.
There are large, swirling flocks in the morning with other huge flocks coming over the ridges from Whittier to the south and Rose Hills to the north.
The odd thing is, they are not descending on Toyon for the berries. There doesn't seem to be any obvious reason for them to be in the canyon.
The spectacle seems to end about 9:30 or so.
The gate to the canyon usually opens at 9 but it sometimes is opened earlier. The ranger has gates to open at a couple of different locations. 
He can't be everywhere at 9 so some get opened early.

Larry Schmahl

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Barth <busyday@...>
To: 'David Ellsworth' <davidells@...>
Cc: 'LACoBirds' <>
Sent: Fri, Feb 17, 2023 4:31 pm
Subject: Re: [LACoBirds] Massive migration of American Robins through Cabrillo Beach area


Following up on David Ellsworth's report of 400 American Robins...Jeff Boyd, Juan Limon and I had a flock of 40 fly over us at the L.A.River in Long Beach this morning heading west, a little before 8 AM.

Richard Barth

From: "David Ellsworth"
To: "LACoBirds"
Sent: Friday February 17 2023 9:16:32AM
Subject: [LACoBirds] Massive migration of American Robins through Cabrillo Beach area

About 400 American Robins came flying roughly
southward toward the Cabrillo Beach area at
7:52am today (Feb 17). Their flight pattern was
very different from other large flocks of birds
I've seen; they were all bouncing around in
different directions. Unfortunately, my camera
was not ready (it was on a tripod with
teleconverters attached), as this would have made
quite a spectacle to get on video. I thought they
had simply passed through, but they must have
taken a rest hidden in the trees as they
exploded back out at 8:09am and flew back to
north. Had I prepared for this, I could've got it
on video at that point, but I had gone back to
eating my breakfast and left the camera on its tripod.

(The only time I've seen Robins in my local patch
is when they're passing through. I conjecture
they don't spend any significant amount of time
actually stopping over and foraging here because
when they do, they get chased away by
Mockingbird(s). I once saw this happen at Angels
Gate Park with 1 Robin and 1 Mockingbird who
repeatedly divebombed the robin until it left.)

Did anybody else get a look at this migration?

I'd once before seen a large American Robin
migration, on 10 Jan 2016 at South Coast Botanic
Garden. During the bicycle ride over to there I
was seeing small flocks of them continue to
stream by, and once arriving, I estimated there
to be 160 spread out at the park itself. What I
saw today dwarfed that not only in that I saw all
400 or so at the same time, but the number itself was quite a bit larger.

David Ellsworth
San Pedro, CA

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