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April 16, 2018 06:07 PM

Worried About Robins During Cold Weather? Expert Says Don't Be

Robins are usually the first sign of spring. The robins are here, but typical spring weather is not. The April blizzard is now putting birds in danger, but not necessarily for the reason you may think. 

During the Blizzard, our camera crews found these robins in a bush trying to find some shelter from the snow. The robins aren't exactly rockin'. Instead, they're huddling to try to keep warm. 

"The late storm stopped everything, so the migration is kind of on hold. And there's a lot of birds sitting around SIoux Falls going, 'Oh, my gosh. What happened here?'" Thea Miller Ryan, director of The Outdoor Campus, said. 

Miller Ryan doesn't want you to worry about the birds freezing. She says the robins have a body temperature of about 104 degrees. 

"Their feathers are very insulating. So, when you see them, they're either huddled together or they're kind of puffy. They look real fat. What that's doing is creating an insulating layer inside there," Miller Ryan said. 

All of this snow is creating a big issue for insect-eating birds, which puts them at risk of starving. Miller says you can help by leaving out food for them. 

"You know, you go to the store and get blueberries or raspberries, they'll eat those. Another thing you can do is go to your local bait store and pick up a thing of worms," Miller Ryan said. 

That'll give these birds some wiggle room to survive these conditions. Miller Ryan also says apples, meat, and soft dog or cat food will also help. Once it feels like spring, these robins can finally rock in the treetops all day long. 

"After this kind of storm, we'll be OK," Miller Ryan said. 
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  • Sioux Falls


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