Robins in Kingston, Ontario: A Photo Essay
A Spotlight on Robins
I have been photographing birds near where I live since January 2018, and one of the most common birds I see are robins. They belong to the thrush family of bird and are recognized by their grey backs and bold orange breasts and bellies. In the city, robins can be found on fields, city parks, and lawns. In the wild, you can spot them in woodlands, forests, and mountains. They like to eat insects, earthworms, and fruits.
They are birds commonly seen in southeastern Ontario and were seen wintering in this area, specifically Kingston, Ontario. Over the winter and spring months, I took photos that captured them perched on branches and walking on the ground. I hope you enjoy this photo essay that focuses on these beautiful songbirds.
1. The Profile Shot
Here is a robin watching me as I take its photograph. I like how it looks rather curious as though it is asking, "What is that man doing over there?" Because it was staring at the camera, it almost looks like it is a posed photo—It doesn't look as candid.
I often see them walking on the ground. Perhaps this one was looking for fallen fruit or berries.
In this photo, I captured a robin perched on a branch. I like the colours in this photo— the blue sky in the background and the bright orange breast of the bird.
I also like the directionality of this photo. You can see there is a diagonal "line" going from bottom right to top left. Nearly all the branches in the photo are seen in this direction. We also see the robin's beak and gaze in this diagonal direction. It creates a great sense of movement in this photo.
3. The Backside
This photo shows the grey backside of a robin quite well. I love the detail in this photo, as you can even make out the tiny texture of its feathers. Additionally, you can see the clarity in its head.
It's also quite apparent that the robin is watching me very closely. I think it was wary of me and the threats I pose to it.
4. Going the Other Way
This robin was captured perched on a thicker branch of a tree. I like the brightness in this photo from the bright blue sky to the bright light cast on the tree.
This photo also has directionality in it too—Here we are going from the bottom left to the top right. The branches and bird's body position face that direction as well.
5. Front View
What is special about this photo is the front view of the robin. Here we can clearly see the orange plumage and its vibrant yellow beak. It stands out from the dead brown grass in the background.
I've seemed to capture it as it quietly looks ahead. Perhaps it's thinking about where it should head to next!
This robin is perched on a branch. I love this photo because it has a lively mood to it. Perhaps the cheerful mood is created by the brightness of the photo. You can see the soft lighting hit the bird and the branches. The sky in the background is also quite luminous. The robin almost looks like it has a glow to it due to the light angle.
What Are Robins?
Robins belong to a group of birds called thrushes. Thrushes are songbirds in the Turdidae family and are known for their loud singing. Robins are the largest North American thrushes and are common birds in this continent.
Robins have grey backs with showy orange undersides and dark heads. They have a white patch on their lower bellies and under their tails. Compared with males, female robins have paler heads and are generally not as vibrant in colour.
They can be found on lawns, fields and city parks in addition to more wild locations like forests, woodlands, mountains, recently burned forests and tundra. In the winter time, these birds can be found among moist woods where there are berry-producing trees and scrubs.
Robins eat fruits as well as invertebrates. In the spring and summer, they feed on insects, earthworms, and some snails. They eat a variety of fruits such as hawthorn, chokecherries, dogwood, and sumac fruits, as well as juniper berries.