Millions of migratory birds flock to Central Texas due to drought

Weather Blog

AUSTIN (KXAN) – They say the early bird gets the worm. In the case of the American Robin, known scientifically as Turdus Migratorius, their food of choice is actually Ashe Juniper berries.

During the wintertime, Ashe Juniper berries are typically found in abundance in the American Southwest, which is where you’ll find this migratory bird. 

Unfortunately, due to continuing drought conditions in the region, Ashe Juniper berries never fully materialized this winter. And as a result, the American Robin have had to migrate to an area where they did, which happens to be Central Texas.

KXAN viewer Melissa Clark caught some of these birds on camera and sent them into KXAN, alerting us to the situation.

Jane Tillman of the Travis Audubon Society reports that a roost of nearly 2 million American Robins have been recorded in our region. 

Thankfully, the American Southwest and Central Texas are not too different climatologically this time of year, so the birds should have no problem fitting in. However, as yet another result of a changing climate, the birds are being forced to migrate farther and farther away from their typical wintertime roost. 

This new forced migration poses the risk of the American Robin running into new predators that could then push the species towards extinction. 

If you would like to welcome these new flying friends, Tillman suggests setting out water for them to drink and splash in. Just be sure to put it in an area away from windows and off the ground as to not be cat bait.

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